Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease

By: Dr. Patrick V. Nicosia


Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common but preventable condition that can seriously impact oral health. There are a few gum disease stages, with each stage becoming increasingly severe if left untreated. Recognizing the signs early with the help of Dr. Patrick V. Nicosia and his Houston, TX, team at Patrick V. Nicosia D.D.S., M.S., Inc. can mean the difference between mild discomfort and irreversible damage. This blog aims to educate you about the various stages of gum disease and why taking proactive steps toward your dental health should never be an afterthought.

Gingivitis: The first warning

Gingivitis is the first stage. This early-stage gum disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums, and it often results from poor oral hygiene habits that allow plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — to accumulate on the teeth. While gingivitis may cause discomfort, it is reversible. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings at Patrick V. Nicosia D.D.S., M.S., Inc. can remove plaque and mitigate the inflammation associated with gingivitis, keeping gum disease at bay.

Early periodontitis: The silent progression

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into early periodontitis. At this stage, the damage affects the bone that supports your teeth. You might notice your gums starting to recede, creating pockets that trap plaque and tartar. Unlike gingivitis, early periodontitis isn't reversible, but it's manageable. Regular visits to our Houston, TX office for deep cleanings and improved oral hygiene practices can help control the progression of the disease.

Moderate periodontitis: A damaging stage

Moderate periodontitis is the third stage of gum disease, signifying more severe damage to the gums, connective tissues, and bones surrounding your teeth. Symptoms like increased gum recession, sensitive teeth, and changes in bite might become apparent. In addition to continued dental cleanings, Dr. Nicosia and his team might recommend specialized periodontal treatments to remove hardened tartar and smooth the root surfaces, reducing bacterial growth.

Advanced periodontitis: A critical condition

When gum disease progresses to advanced periodontitis, the situation becomes critical. Symptoms include severe gum recession, significant pockets, loose or shifting teeth, and tooth loss. The bacterial infection can also spread to other parts of the body, contributing to systemic health issues like heart disease or diabetes. At this stage, more aggressive treatments like surgery or dental implants may be necessary to save your teeth and overall health.

Let Patrick V. Nicosia D.D.S. M.S., Inc. keep tabs on your gum health

Early detection and treatment are crucial to preventing or managing gum disease. If you're in the Houston, TX area and have any concerns about your gum health, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with Patrick V. Nicosia D.D.S. M.S., Inc. Dr. Patrick V. Nicosia and our highly experienced team are committed to ensuring your oral health, providing personalized dental care that caters to your unique needs. Remember, you can always invest in your dental health. Your oral health is our mission.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.