This disease occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to bacteria and toxins that accumulate on teeth in the form of plaque. Once this plaque is
under the gum line, it starts to eat away bone and other structures. Untreated gingivitis will progress to periodontitis; the inflammatory responses that involve the supporting bone and tooth root. The end result of periodontitis is loss of the tooth (teeth) due to loss of supporting bone, oral pain, infection, and bad breath. Inflamed gums also provide bacteria with easy access to the blood stream where they can travel to infect major organs leading to kidney, heart, and liver disease.
While gingivitis is curable, periodontitis is not. The aim of treatment in our patient is to prevent progression of gingivitis to periodontitis.
Periodontal disease is usually progressive thus the staging is a method that allows for improved record keeping and treatment planning. Below is a chart outlining the 4 stages of periodontal disease.
Since all cases of periodontitis start with gingivitis our goal is early intervention. If we prevent gingivitis by regular home care and professional cleaning you can prevent irreversible periodontitis.