The Different Stages of Gum Disease

The Different Stages of Gum Disease

Did you know gum disease isn’t just one condition with straightforward symptoms? Instead, it’s various stages of illness that affect the tissue around your teeth. If you’re concerned about your gums, knowing the different stages and symptoms of gum disease is vital in addressing the issue. However, since gum disease isn’t straightforward, this is often easier said than done for many people! While gum disease itself is complex, understanding its stages is a great first step. 

This article discusses the different types and stages of gum disease. For personalised advice, contact our team at Boroondara Family Dentist today.


What are the Different Types of Gum Disease?

There are two types of gum disease: Gingivitis and periodontitis.


Gingivitis is triggered by plaque buildup. Plaque is a combination of bacteria and other particles that build up over time and stick to your teeth if you don’t brush and floss properly or often enough. 

When you don’t brush and floss properly, your body’s immune system recognises this, and your gums become inflamed, making them look red and puffy. They may even bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. However, when many people see their gums bleeding, they often think they’ve brushed too hard and may ignore it. You shouldn’t ever ignore bleeding gums, as it may lead to periodontitis if left untreated.



Untreated gingivitis may progress into chronic periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. As bacteria collects beneath the gum line, the irritation and inflammation that occurs may lead to periodontal pockets forming between the teeth and gums. If these are also left untreated, they tend to deepen over time, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and causing periodontitis to worsen.


Periodontitis Stages 

Periodontitis can be categorised into four stages:

Stage 1: Initial

In the initial stage of periodontitis, the inflammation begins damaging the fibres that attach the teeth to the sockets. While the damage at this stage may be subtle, it often signifies the beginning of a potentially serious oral health condition.


Stage 2: Moderate

Moderate periodontitis means there is more damage than in the initial stages, yet it may still be manageable. This tends to show more pronounced symptoms and necessitates intervention in an effort to prevent further deterioration of gum and bone tissue.


Stage 3: Severe (with potential for tooth loss)

Severe periodontitis is associated with gum recession tooth mobility and may increase your risk for tooth loss. You may notice changes in how your teeth look and function, such as being unable to bite or chew comfortably.


Stage 4: Severe (with potential for loss of all teeth)

At this stage, tooth loss becomes much more likely and poses significant challenges to oral health and overall well-being. Comprehensive dental care and management are needed to preserve any remaining teeth wherever possible.

In addition to the different stages of gum disease, there is also the progression rate to consider. Progression rates are categorised as Grade A (slow), Grade B (moderate), and Grade C (Rapid). Timely treatment is crucial, especially for Grade C.


How Can I Tell If I Have Gum Disease?

While plaque is at the beginning of gum disease, it’s important to note that it forms naturally when we do everyday things like eating and drinking. In its beginning stages, gingivitis is typically painless, and you won’t notice plaque buildup until your dentist notices it and cleans it away. This is why it’s crucial to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleans.

Depending on the severity of your gum disease, you may notice symptoms like:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Sensitive gums
  • Loose teeth


Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

In many cases, it may be possible to prevent gum disease. This starts with a robust oral health care routine, such as brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once daily, rinsing with anti-gingivitis mouthwash, and seeing your dentist regularly. 


Book Your Appointment at Boroondara Family Dentist 

With the proper knowledge and care, it may be easier than you think to address gum disease. Whether you have bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or are concerned about periodontitis, our team at Boroondara Family Dentist is here to answer your questions. Contact our friendly and professional team and book your appointment today.



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