What Does Stage 1 Periodontal Disease Look Like?

Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the world. Learn what stage 1 periodontal disease looks like and how to prevent it.

What Does Stage 1 Periodontal Disease Look Like?

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the world, with an estimated 60% of the population suffering from some form of gum disease. This condition has two main stages, and if diagnosed and treated early, it can be reversed and tooth loss can usually be prevented. The first stage is called gingivitis, and it is the only one that is completely reversible with proper care. At this stage, the bone and fibers that hold the teeth in place have not yet been affected.

Symptoms of gingivitis may include redness and swelling of the gums, bad breath, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. To prevent gum disease, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. As gingivitis progresses, the inflammation spreads and some discomfort may occur. The gums begin to separate from the teeth, forming spaces known as periodontal “pockets”.

If left untreated, periodontitis can cause irreparable damage to the connective tissue and lead to more advanced stages of periodontal disease. In the moderate phase of periodontal disease, bacteria penetrate deeper and further attack the jaw, causing greater bone loss and the infection spreading to the bloodstream. At this stage, bleeding becomes evident as the tissues become more inflamed. Advanced periodontitis is characterized by painful abscesses that result from infection that spreads below the gums.

This is a major cause of tooth loss in adults, and more advanced periodontal procedures may be required to remove calculus from deep pockets. To protect your oral health, it's vital to diagnose and treat periodontal disease as soon as possible. Dental hygiene visits can be effective in preventing periodontitis and treating the disease in its early stages. The periodontist may use laser-assisted periodontal treatment procedures to treat later stages of periodontal disease.

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