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Has your dentist previously told you that you have gingivitis or the beginning stages of gum disease, but you feel that your condition has only gotten worse? When left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease.
If you suspect that you are living with this condition, there are some important things that you need to know.
Risk Factors Associated with Periodontitis
If you think that you might be dealing with periodontitis, you should first consider whether you have any of the most common risk factors. Poor nutrition, tobacco use, and a family history of gum disease are the most common risk factors. However, dentures that don't fit properly, diabetes, and age are also important risk factors to consider.
While you don't have to have one of these risk factors in order to develop periodontitis, it is certainly something that should be considered along with poor oral health habits.
The Three Stages of Periodontitis
Periodontitis will have three distinct stages, and when treated in the early phases, it can be reversible.
Early periodontitis. In the early stages of periodontitis, you'll likely experience bleeding and bright red gums that are extremely sensitive to hot and cold. Bad breath and loose teeth are also major indicators, so you should be sure to see your dentist if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Moderate periodontitis. During moderate periodontitis, irreversible damage will begin to occur within the periodontal ligaments. These ligaments are essential in holding the teeth in place. As recession of the gums becomes visible, pockets will form between the gums and teeth. The pockets will trap food that can encourage tissue growth.
Advanced periodontitis. Once the disease reaches advanced levels, symptoms can include pus-filled pockets and severely receding gums. Loose teeth and the eventual loss of teeth will typically come with untreated advanced periodontitis.
If you are concerned that your gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis, please contact our office for guidance.