The Stages of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease will always worsen if not treated. By its very nature, it is self-aggravating and progressive, developing from minor gingivitis to advanced periodontitis if given the time. At every step along the way, the disease damages your tissue, damage which may be difficult or impossible to correct without extensive surgery. As your Pittsburgh periodontist, we’d like you to recognize the stages of gum disease and seek treatment if you need it.

Gingivitis

The name of gingivitis refers specifically to the swelling of your gums and not the infection that causes it. It is also characterized by redness, sensitivity, and easy bleeding. Minor gingivitis can be treated at home with careful brushing and flossing. beyond a certain point, however, you will not be able to address it without help.

Periodontitis

In periodontitis, the gums separate from the teeth, resulting in hollows or “periodontal pockets” against the tooth roots where bacteria gathers and multiplies. This causes tartar buildup on the tooth roots, which further irritates the gums, creating a cycle of worsening gum disease.

Progressive bone loss

Between the activity of bacteria and the body’s immune response, all the tissue surrounding the infected gums will begin to deteriorate, including the alveolar bone. The upper and lower jaws include small wells of bone within which the tooth roots are contained; when those wells are eroded, the teeth are no longer secure, and can shift or even fall out. Periodontal disease is the chief cause of tooth loss in adults—not age.

Treatment options

We offer periodontal therapy to eliminate your infection and teach you to maintain healthy habits. Our treatment options include LANAP, a laser-based treatment which helps reduce periodontal pockets and reverse the progression of gum disease. For those with receded gums, Dr. Silberg is trained in the pinhole surgical technique, a minimally invasive option for restoring recessed gum tissue. Depending on the seriousness of your periodontal disease, you may also require tooth replacement and/or bone grafts.

If you are suffering from gum disease in Pittsburgh, don’t wait. The sooner you seek treatment, the more of your mouth you will preserve. Call today or contact us online to schedule your appointment, and experience the benefits of full periodontal health.

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