Phases of Gum Disease

Livingston cosmetic dentist David Silverstrom and his associate Gary Silverstrom cannot stress enough the importance of preventive dental care. Through routine dental examinations, we can address potential oral health problems before they can inflict severe and even irreversible damage to your smile. One of the most common dental issues facing our patients is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection that affects the bones and tissues that support and surround the teeth. For many of our patients in Livingston, periodontal disease is only discovered during a routine dental examination. This is because periodontal disease is usually painless during its earliest stages. Because of this, gum disease has the potential to inflict damage to the gums and teeth before a person is even aware of its presence. If gum disease is left untreated, it is likely to cause irreversible damage to the gums and teeth, which can lead to the loss of one or more teeth.

Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque on the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque forms on the teeth when acid found within the mouth combines with saliva, mucus, and food particles. If plaque is not promptly and thoroughly removed from the surfaces of the teeth, tartar will eventually develop. Because tartar is much harder than plaque, it can only be removed through professional dental treatment. Plaque and tartar cause the gums to become inflamed. Periodontal disease occurs when the gums become infected from being exposed to bacteria that is found within plaque and tartar.

Stages of Periodontal Disease: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease. Fortunately, any damage that results from gingivitis can be reversed. You may be suffering from gingivitis if:

  • your gums have changed from a healthy pink color to a darker red color
  • you are experiencing bad breath
  • your gums appear puffy
  • your gums have become tender
  • your gums have become swollen
  • your gums are pulling away from your teeth
  • your gums bleed easily during tooth brushing or flossing
  • your gums have become soft

In most cases, the effects of gingivitis can be reversed through professional cleaning and treatments such as scaling and root planing.

Stages of Periodontal Disease: Periodontitis

When gingivitis is left untreated, it will eventually advance to periodontitis. During periodontitis, damage that occurs cannot be reversed. The symptoms of periodontitis in its earliest stages are similar to those associated with gingivitis. As the disease progresses, however, the symptoms become more severe. The teeth can become loose, and pockets of infection can form on the gums. The gums themselves will progress from a bright red to a purplish red.

At this stage, much of the damage is irreversible. However, it is possible to restore health to the mouth. At our cosmetic dentistry practice in Livingston, dental implants, tissue grafting, and other treatments can be used to reconstruct the mouth and return oral health to its optimal state. Drs. David and Gary Silverstrom are accomplished oral surgeons who can restore health, form, and function to even the most badly damaged mouths.

Contact the Silverstrom Group Today

To learn more about periodontal disease and its treatment, please contact our Livingston cosmetic dentistry practice, serving patients throughout New Jersey, today.