Dental Problems

How Does Gum Disease Progress?

There are very few diseases which progress within a short span of time. But, most of the other diseases progress in an average time, gum disease is one of them. So, there is a good chance to prevent and treat gum diseases.

How does the progression of gum disease occur?

The progression of gum disease occurs in stages and can be treated at an early stage. The disease progresses from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis) in a period of time.

  1. Gingivitis:

    Bacteria is present in the mouth, if oral hygiene is not maintained properly then the bacteria form a sticky film on the teeth, which is referred to as plaque.

    Plaque, tartar or calculus:

    If this condition is not treated in time then the person is at a higher risk of developing gum diseases.

    If plaque is not removed in time, then it forms tartar or calculus (a hardened plaque which is converted into crust).

    Once tartar forms, the condition becomes more advanced, as it damages the gum tissues and cause bleeding of gums, which causes the gums to separate from the teeth. This causes some of the following conditions:

    • Bleeding gums:

      The common sign of gum disease is bleeding gums. It may occur while brushing or flossing of teeth. This shows that one has developed the mildest condition of gum disease. Usually, it is a sign or a symptom of gingivitis, a gum disease.

    • Gum redness:

      Some may develop redness or inflammation of the gums due to bacterial infection.

    • Gum tenderness:

      It is one of the warning signs of gum disease -gingivitis. Gums may become tender to touch and may also develop pain.

    • Gum puffiness:

      One may experience puffiness or swelling of the gums and jaw.

  2. Periodontitis:

    If gingivitis is not treated in time it results in periodontitis. The gums become weak and form pockets at the base of the teeth. Later, bacteria grow within these pockets and form bacterial pool, which causes further destruction of the gums.

    As the condition spreads throughout the gums, it can damage the deeper gum tissues and finally spread to the jawbone which supports the teeth. This causes the teeth to become loose and fall out.

When to consult a dentist?

It is better to consult your dentist as early as possible when you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed below:

  • Frequent bleeding of the gums (during brushing and flossing)
  • Discoloration of gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Any sign which feels like pulling away of teeth from gums.

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