First stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Plaque hardens into tartar and the gum tissue attachment point migrates downwards. Bacteria starts to fill the pockets between the gums and teeth. The gums become tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
Second stage of periodontal disease – periodontitis – may be accompanied by a slight or moderate bone loss.
The third stage – advanced periodontitis – appears if periodontitis is not treated. Moderate to severe bone loss is present and affected teeth become very loose and may be lost as they have no more support in gums and bones.
Periodontal treatments include:
- Periodontal Maintenance- is the process of cleaning the pockets of bacteria around the gums to prevent more damage and further bone loss.
- Scaling and Root Planing – If pockets between the gums and teeth are 5 millimetres or less in depth, the non-invasive therapy called scaling can be recommended. This is a special deep cleaning where all tartar and plaque deposits are removed from the gum line and the roots of your teeth are smoothed to discourage further growing of tartar and to reduce periodontal pocket depths.
- Surgical solutions - in the stage of advanced periodontitis, where the depth of the pockets between the gums and teeth is more than 5 millimetres surgery may be required. Deep pockets may need to be opened and cleaned. Loose teeth may need to be supported (bone grafting) or extraction of a tooth may be necessary to stop the damage spreading to adjacent teeth.