The Different Periodontal Disease Stages – Understanding Gingivitis

Normal healthy gums, along with the supporting framework, appear firm and pink. This gum collar provides a strong support for the teeth. When there is an inflammation of the gums and the deeper structures of the teeth, this condition is called periodontitis or pyorrhea. Knowing about the symptoms of each of the periodontal disease stages can help you understand the disease better and get timely diagnosis and gingivitis treatment.

periodontal disease stages

Periodontal disease stages begin with gingivitis, in which the gums become red and puffy, and bleed readily.

The Periodontal Disease Stages – The Parts Of The Tooth They Affect

The structures supporting a tooth are:

  • The gingiva or gums, which is the soft pink-colored tissue that surrounds the neck of the teeth
  • The jawbone, which supports the tooth and holds it in the socket
  • Periodontal ligaments, which connect the teeth to the socket

The periodontal disease stages affect these three structures when they cause an inflammation.

The Cause Of Periodontitis

When gingivitis causes worsen, they increasingly affect various structures of the oral cavity, leading to periodontitis. Here’s what is involved in the whole process.

  • Various studies have demonstrated that plaque (a thin film formed on the tooth surface by food debris) and bacteria constitute the detrimental combination resulting in periodontitis.
  • Bacteria are normally present in the mouth. However disease-causing bacteria tend to appear in plaque that is not removed on a regular basis by oral hygiene procedures like brushing and flossing.
  • Plaque hardens over time to form tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing. Once tartar has accumulated, getting the teeth cleaned by your the dentist becomes the only option available.
  • The plaque/tartar causes irritation of the gums leading to the infection and inflammation of the gums and the surrounding structures. This condition is called periodontitis.

The Differences Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis

  • When the inflammation is confined to the gum layer only, it is known as gingivitis. This is a very common condition that is easily reversible.
  • If gingivitis remains untreated the infection progresses into deeper parts of the oral cavity and involves the bone and other structures surrounding the tooth, causing periodontitis.
  • In periodontitis, the loss of bone is irreversible and requires a more aggressive form of management as compared to gingivitis.
gum disease stages

Brush your teeth and floss regularly to get rid of plaque, which is the root cause of gum disease stages.

The Different Periodontal Disease Stages

Periodontitis passes through various stages before finally resulting in either the tooth falling off or it being removed by the dentist. Here are the periodontal disease stages described progressively.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

  • The accumulation of bacterial plaque along the gum line results in gum disease or gingivitis.
  • The gums then become red and puffy, and have a tendency to bleed readily.
  • The person with gingivitis will usually experience no pain at this stage.

Stage 2: Early Periodontitis

  • When the accumulated plaque is not removed, then gingivitis continues to cause the gums to be pulled away from the teeth.
  • This allows for the formation of “pockets” (gaps of varying depth between the gums and the teeth).
  • These periodontal pockets are filled with bacterial plaque, calculus (tartar), food debris, and pus.
  • At this stage the infection has started the process of bone damage.
  • Pain may or may not be present during this stage.

Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis

  • As the disease advances, the gum infection spreads, resulting in further loss of bone support.
  • At this stage, the condition causes pain and the teeth may become loose or shift in alignment.
  • The gums recede causing more of the tooth to be exposed.
  • The depth of the periodontal pockets increases.

Stage 4: Advanced Or Severe Periodontitis

  • In the advanced stage of periodontal disease, the patient experiences a buildup of pain and pressure due to the accumulation of pus.
  • The teeth become so loose that they may fall off.
  • In most cases, no treatment can save the affected tooth, and the removal of the tooth is the only option at this juncture.

If you notice any gingivitis symptoms, it is best to approach your dentist for immediate treatment. This will prevent the periodontal disease stages from progressing further, saving you unnecessary pain and the need for the removal of one or more teeth. Ideally, you should learn how to prevent gingivitis, so that you don’t need to deal with this condition in the first place.

How To Prevent Gingivitis – Tips For Dental Care

Gingivitis, otherwise known as gum disease, is a common condition that affects people based on their dental hygiene. The age old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds good for gingivitis too, because it’s easy to learn how to prevent gingivitis – all it takes is a few steps!

Certain simple measures can help you keep gingivitis causes at bay and prevent the occurrence of this condition.

Some Tips On How To Prevent Gingivitis

  • Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

    People often forget the little things when they wonder how to prevent gingivitis.

    Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. Plaque is the irritant that causes gingivitis symptoms and needs to be removed. Brushing removes the plaque from your teeth and gum margins.

    Always use a fluoridated toothpaste. Do not rush through the brushing process – your teeth deserve your time and attention. Spend about 2 minutes and make sure that you are cleaning all areas of your mouth, including your tongue.

    how to prevent gingivitis

    To learn how to prevent gingivitis, start by using a fluoride toothpaste

    Do not use a hard bristled brush. You need to change your toothbrush once every 3 months or earlier if the bristles get frayed. Don’t apply too much pressure when brushing, as this does more harm than good.

    Use a toothbrush of the appropriate size, one that is neither too big nor too small. If you follow a proper brushing technique, it stimulates your gums and keeps them in the pink of health.

  • Make Flossing A Daily Routine

    Dental floss gets between your teeth and under your gum line to remove plaque,  accessing the areas that the toothbrush cannot. For this reason, it is a must to floss everyday.

    A simple technique to floss:

    • Take about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
    • Hold the floss stretched between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth.
    • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line.
    • Do not ever force the floss, as this may injure your delicate gum tissue.
    • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
  • Rinse Your Mouth After Every Meal

    After brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash aids in removing the bacteria that may have been left behind.

    Also, rinsing the mouth after every meal or snack washes out food debris and decreases plaque formation.

  • Follow A Proper Diet

    While learning how to prevent gingivitis, it is important to pay attention to your diet too. A well balanced diet provides adequate nourishment, so make sure you follow a healthy diet.

    This will strengthen your immune system and help in warding off an attack by bacteria and other micro-organisms, including those in the mouth. Avoid frequent snacking and consuming foods that are rich in sugar content.

  • Avoid Unnecessary Stress

    Wondering what stress has to do with preventing gingivitis? A lot!

    As your stress levels increase, your body’s ability to fight off infections or diseases decreases. Also, when you are extremely distressed, daily practices such as brushing and flossing can be affected.

  • Keep Your Habits Healthy

    This is an important point that will often crop up when you run a check on how to prevent gingivitis. Keep away from habits such as smoking, as people who smoke or chew pan are prone to gingivitis.

    Chemicals from the pan and the heat from a cigarette can irritate and damage your gums, if you have either of these habits.

  • Visit Your Dentist Twice A Year

    A periodic visit to your dentist every 6 months for a thorough check-up can prevent the build-up of deposits around the gum margins. Your dentist will advise you to set right the misaligned teeth, replace worn out or improperly made accessories, and fill the decayed teeth.

    Your visits to the dentist must be more frequent if you are suffering from diabetes, certain cancers, or AIDS. If you have a known family history of gum problems, you should take extra care.

  • Choose Healthy Supplements

    In addition to the measures mentioned above, the consumption of vitamin C rich foods or supplements can maintain your gums in a healthy state. Opt for healthy supplements while shopping, and gingivitis will be the last worry on your mind.

Gingivitis in an easily preventable condition. If ignored, it can progress to advanced periodontal disease stages. As a result, it’s best to learn how to prevent gingivitis and keep your gums in perfect health, forestalling the need for gingivitis treatment.

Gingivitis In Cats – The Condition, Its Symptoms And Treatment

Gingivitis is one of the commonly observed dental diseases in cats, and this condition inflames their gums. Gingivitis in cats is often a result of inadequate oral hygiene and neglected dental care. It is a reversible condition and can be treated with utmost ease.

gingivitis in cats

Red and swollen gums are common signs of gingivitis in cats.

Gingivitis In Cats – Understanding The Condition

Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease caused by microbial organisms like peptostreptococci, porphyromonas, and actinomyces. Normally, the teeth in both humans and animals fit snugly into the gums. When a cat is affected with gingivitis, rough tartars form over the surface of the teeth and at the interface of the teeth and gums.

Tartars (hard yellowish dental deposits) are generally a mixture of organic and calcium compounds (Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Phosphate). These tartars force the gums to loosen out the teeth at those sites. The separated gums-teeth interfaces form gum-pockets, the sites where foods particles get lodged. Millions of bacteria grow in these areas and form soft colourless plaques, composed of bacteria and food particles.

Tartars are yellowish brown patches that can be pointed out easily. The irregular surfaces of teeth favour the formation of tartars, which are ideal sites for plaque formation.

The Symptoms Of Gingivitis In Cats

The following are the symptoms of gingivitis in cats.

  • Red and swollen gums that bleed easily while chewing
  • Halitosis or Bad breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling and redness along the teeth and gums
  • Tooth decay
  • Drooling while chewing

Cats above 2 years of age are susceptible to gingivitis. In very rare cases, younger cats are affected.

The Common Risks Of Gingivitis In Cats

  • Loss Of Affected Tooth/Teeth

    Untreated gingivitis leads to local tissue destruction in the form of:

    • Loss of bone
    • Spacing between teeth
    • Pus formation in ‘gum-pockets’
  • Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Gingivitis

    It is a painful condition under which eating and swallowing becomes difficult.Once serious infection sets in, the bacteria may travel through the blood to distant organs like the kidneys and the heart. Some cats may exhibit severe oral infection that extends up to the back of the throat.The resulting condition is known as ‘Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Gingivitis’ (LPG). The mechanism of LPG is not exactly known, but has been attributed to the body’s extensive reaction to the microbes present along the teeth.

  • Feline Panleukopenia

    This is a serious complication that may prove to be fatal. It is also known as Feline Distemper, and is caused by the Panleukopenia virus, which destroys white blood cells.Infected cats present with high fever, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Treatment Of Gingivitis In Cats

Gingivitis treatment principally involves clearing up the existing infection and preventing its further recurrence.

  1. Get A Dental Check-up Done 

    If the tartar is well settled, the teeth should be thoroughly cleaned by a veterinarian. This is very similar to the dental procedures that you might have gone through. Gingivitis being a painful condition, you can’t expect your cat to sit still during the procedure, so the doctor will mostly administer prior anaesthesia.

  2. Provide The Right Medication

    Antimicrobials, steroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs are generally used to treat gingivitis in cats, and these can be administered orally or through injections.

  3. Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

    Brushing your cat’s teeth everyday or at least twice or thrice a week is essential, as this helps in maintaining good oral hygiene and prevents the recurrence of the disease.

    Tartars can be cleaned up through dental cleaning and polishing, and if ignored, they may redevelop within a week after cleaning. Regular brushing is the key to prevent its recurrence.

    To begin with, gently rub your cat’s teeth with your finger. You can use toothpastes and brushes that are specially designed for cats for this disease. Never use brushes and pastes that have been manufactured for general use.

  4. Frame A Special Diet

    Use food items that have been specially developed to protect your cat’s oral hygiene, as these will make it easier to reduce plaques and tartars in cats. Run the diet by your veterinarian once and get his approval before you implement it. A well framed diet always helps in managing gingivitis in cats.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure, So…

It is always better to avoid the problem than to worry about a solution or remedy, so ensure that you read up on preventive steps that explain how to stop gingivitis in cats. Brushing the teeth regularly, incorporating adequate measures for oral hygiene, and keeping an eye out for the anticipated risk will definitely serve the purpose.

Gingivitis Treatment Options – Steps For A Permanent Cure

Gingivitis or gum disease progresses through various stages, and culminates in tooth loss or the necessary removal of the tooth. It is a treatable and reversible condition, and depending on the stage at which the gingivitis symptoms are identified, you can choose the right gingivitis treatment option.

In order to cure gingivitis, there are certain measures that you can follow at home while certain procedures need to be performed by your dentist. 

Gingivitis Treatment – Measures You Can Follow At Home

  • Regular Brushing And Flossing

    This is the first line of defense against gingivitis. If you are unsure about the right technique of brushing, consult your dentist, as he’ll be able to help you solve this difficulty.

    Brushing removes the plaque from your teeth and gum margins, eliminating the irritant. Here are some tips that you can effortlessly follow:

    • Use a fluoridated toothpaste while brushing.
    • Do not rush through your brushing. Spend close to two minutes and make sure that you clean all areas of your mouth, including your tongue.
    • Do not use a hard bristled brush, be kind to your gums and always go for a softer one.
    gingivitis treatment

    Brushing and flossing regularly is one among the easiest gingivitis treatment options

    You should floss your teeth everyday, as this will help you remove plaque from places that the toothbrush cannot reach (between your teeth and under your gum line).

  • Rinsing

    After brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash will help you remove the bacteria that may have been left behind. This is an effective step when it comes to gingivitis treatment.

    Studies have shown that the use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash reduces the build-up of plaque in between appointments with your dentist.

  • Following A Proper Diet

    Consuming a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients will help your body ward off an attack by bacteria, and this holds good even for the bacteria in your mouth. You don’t have to follow this as gingivitis treatment – a good diet is healthy anyway!

    Avoid frequently consuming foods with high sugar content, and this directly contributes to an increase in the build-up of plaque and bacteria.

  • Choosing A Stress-Free Life

    Physical and mental stress can decrease your body’s ability to fight off infections or diseases, and this is applicable in the case of gingivitis treatment too.

    Extreme levels of stress disturbs daily practices such as brushing and flossing, so keep away from pressurizing situations and habits such as smoking. The chemicals and heat from a cigarette can irritate the gums, causing gingivitis.

Gingivitis Treatment – The Role Of Dental Check-Ups

Regular visits to your dentist can help in detecting gingivitis at the initial stage, which makes gingivitis treatment an easier process. Cleaning the teeth with the help of your dentist twice twice a year prevents the build-up of plaque and bacteria, the primary gingivitis causes.

People with known risk factors for developing gingivitis such as diabetes, certain cancers, AIDS, or a known family history of gum problems should visit the dentist more frequently.

Your dentist will also repair the misaligned teeth, replace worn-out or improperly made appliances and fill the decayed teeth whenever required.

To control gingivitis and prevent its recurrence, you and your dentist have to work hand in hand. Following the gingivitis treatment instructions provided by your dentist will help you stay at the peak of your dental health. Of course, instead of dealing with various periodontal disease stages, it is always a good idea for you to learn how to prevent gingivitis.

Gingivitis Causes Explained – A Peek Behind The Scenes

Gingivitis or ‘gum disease’ is an inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. By learning how to prevent gingivitis, you can avoid gingivitis causes and keep your oral cavity in perfect health.

The Primary Gingivitis Causes

When basic dental hygiene is not followed, the bacteria in the mouth trigger the gradual decay of the teeth and gums. For this reason, almost all gingivitis causes can be attributed to bad dental hygiene. When this condition is ignored, it proceeds to advanced periodontal disease stages and causes much damage to the dental structure.

The Effect Of Plaque

Gingivitis develops when plaque accumulates in the areas between the teeth. Plaque is a thin sticky layer that consists of bacteria, food debris, and certain minerals. It forms a thin film over the tooth, and breaks it down, infecting the whole region.

gingivitis causes

Unclean braces and accessories also rank among the main gingivitis causes

When plaque accumulates around the neck of your teeth, the gum margins get irritated, leading to redness, swelling, bleeding, and pain. Gingivitis may progress towards the surrounding structures (including the bone) when this layer of plaque gets hardened, a form that is termed Calculus/Tartar. The formation of plaque in the teeth is the reason behind most gingivitis causes.

Other Gingivitis Causes And Risk Factors

There are certain predisposing factors that, along with plaque, trigger gingivitis and its progression.

  • Infections and diseases like diabetes, blood cancer, or AIDS can cause gingivitis
  • Hormonal changes in the body, during cycles like pregnancy and puberty, can increase the sensitivity of the gums to plaque
  • Misaligned teeth, the rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (dentures, braces, bridges, and crowns) can act as a cavity for the accumulation of plaque and bacterial growth
  • Medications such as steroids, blood pressure pills, and even seizure or birth control pills can increase the risk of developing gingivitis
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking have been known to increase the risk of gingivitis
  • Emotional stress can sometimes trigger the onset of gingivitis
  • Undernourished people are susceptible to gingivitis
  • Injury caused due to overzealous brushing can lead to gingivitis
  • Genetic predisposition is one among the key gingivitis causes, especially if it’s known to occur in the family
  • A weakened or a suppressed immune system, especially during anti-cancer treatment and after organ transplants can lead to gingivitis

Following proper oral hygiene can help you prevent the accumulation of plaque, which is one of the key gingivitis causes. That way, you are assured of excellent dental health and don’t need to worry about gingivitis symptoms or the need for gingivitis treatment.

Gingivitis Symptoms – How To Spot The Problem

Gingivitis refers to an inflammation of the gums, and it is also known as gum disease. It’s a very common condition that causes irritation, redness, and swelling of the gums, and due to its noticeable effects, can be easily identified through the main gingivitis symptoms.

Since some cases of gingivitis can be very mild, you may not be aware that you have the condition as the gingivitis symptoms in such cases will also be mild. But it’s highly important to take this condition seriously and seek gingivitis treatment promptly.

Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease like periodontitis, which is a disease of the tissues that surround the teeth (the gums, soft tissues, and bone). Advanced periodontal disease stages often culminate in tooth loss.

gingivitis symptoms

Swelling and bleeding along the gums is one of the main gingivitis symptoms.

To get you started on how to identify gingivitis symptoms, here are the characteristics of normal gums:

  • They are pink and firm
  • They fit snugly around the teeth
  • They do not bleed easily

Gingivitis Symptoms You Should Note

  • Your gums will be puffy and swollen
  • You may note a change in the color of your gums (bright red or red-purple)
  • Your gums may bleed for no reason (with traces of blood on your toothbrush)
  • Your gums may generally be painless, unless they are touched
  • Your gums may appear shiny
  • Bad breath (may not be consistently present)

As gum disease gets worse (periodontitis), the symptoms will be easier to spot. These may include:

  • Gums that pull away or shrink from the teeth
  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Pus that comes out from the gums
  • A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Loosened teeth

Steps To Take Once You Notice Gingivitis Symptoms

Once you spot mild or severe gingivitis symptoms, you should immediately consult a dentist.

  • Your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth and look for soft, swollen, red-purple gums
  • The dentist will also use an instrument (probe) to closely examine your gums to determine if you have gingivitis or periodontitis

No further testing is usually necessary. However, your dentist may take X-rays to see if the disease has spread to the supporting structures of the teeth and to check if multiple teeth have been infected.

Tips To Avoid Gingivitis Symptoms

If you properly follow your dentist’s advice and look after your teeth and gums, they will look good and stay healthy for life. For optimum oral health:

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss your teeth frequently
  • Visit your dentist regularly

The good news is that gingivitis is a condition that can be reversed, once the primary gingivitis symptoms have been spotted. What’s even better is that you can keep gingivitis causes from affecting your dental health by learning how to prevent gingivitis.