We often think about what would happen if we were affected by tooth decay. You may be somewhat familiar with gingivitis and may have experienced it in the past. But, you may be less familiar with periodontitis, despite the fact that half of all Americans over the age of 30 suffer from this disease.

Periodontitis is essentially a progression from gingivitis. It’s an infection that occurs within the gums, but can spread to and ultimately destroy the jawbone as well. It must be taken seriously. With that being said, let’s look into the stages of periodontitis, and why dental care is of the utmost priority.

1. Initial

The first stage of periodontitis, after gingivitis, is the initial stage. This stage is fairly similar to gingivitis and typically involves your gums being further inflamed, and continuing to bleed. You will not feel pain at this stage. At this point, your periodontitis cannot be reversed, though it can be managed and proper dental care can prevent it from progressing. This would include a deep clean and debridement.

2. Moderate

The moderate stage is more serious and begins to affect your ligaments and joints around the root of the tooth and the socket. Moderate periodontitis is typically more noticeable, though it may not be very painful at this stage.

3. Severe (Potential For Tooth Loss)

This stage does carry the serious risk of tooth loss. You probably won’t feel pain at this stage, but you will have bad breath, notice a bad taste, and experience serious gum recession. Your teeth will look longer, and your biting action may cause soreness. Additionally, you may be more likely to experience swelling and even abscesses. At this point, serious dental care, including surgery will likely be required, with an expert on periodontal disease involved.

4. Severe (Potential For The Loss Of All Teeth)

At this point, you would likely be missing several teeth, and your remaining teeth would be loose. There would be gaps between your teeth, and your risk for other conditions like diabetes or a heart attack would be heightened. At this point, you must have care from a periodontist.

Take your dental care seriously, and care for your gums as well. The consequences can be serious otherwise.