The Progression Of Gum Disease

The Progression Of Gum DiseaseGum disease is incredibly common; nearly half of all adult Americans have some form of it. Gum disease is a progressive disease. A progressive disease is a disease that worsens the longer it goes untreated. Gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene. It can be reversed if caught and treated early. In its early stages, gum disease can be painless and hard to detect, which makes routinely visiting your dentist very important. As gum disease worsens, it can cause harm to your gums, jaw, and teeth. It can also increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.


Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest form of gum disease. It is caused by plaque building up along the line where the gums meet the teeth. The build-up causes inflammation in the gums. The word, gingiva, means gums, and the suffix, -itis, refers to inflammation. There is usually little to no pain associated with gingivitis. You may notice your gums are swollen and/or red. Your gums may bleed when you brush or floss. It is important to talk to your dentist when you notice signs of gingivitis because it can be reversed if treated early.


If gingivitis is not treated, the gum disease will progress into periodontitis. Once it has advanced this far, the damage done to the gum tissue and bone is irreversible. The gums will begin to recede from the teeth creating pockets for more bacteria and infection. This recession of the gums will put the teeth at risk of falling out. Periodontitis can be managed with a professional deep cleaning, a scaling and root planing. A better oral health routine can prefer further damage and progression of the gum disease.

Advanced gum disease

Without treatment, the damage to the gum tissue and jaw bone will persist. The foundation that supports your teeth will become too weak. Your dentist may need to extract your teeth. At this advanced stage, your risk of developing overall health problems increases.

Treat gum disease before it gets worse

Talk to Dr. Cook about how to prevent or treat gum disease. To schedule a consultation, call Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS, today at 913-381-2600.