Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease is serious and progressive, and it’s easy to miss the early signs if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why patients at risk of developing gum problems should talk to a periodontist regularly. Periodontists specialize in gum health, so they have extra training in the procedures for preventing, treating, and repairing the damage done by diseases that affect the gums.

Early Symptoms

Before a patient develops a disease that can be diagnosed, there are several warning signs that typically present themselves. Patients may develop a few or all of these warning signs as their condition progresses, and there is no definite moment when early symptoms officially cross over to gingivitis. Some patients simply show more early signs than others. Patients experiencing all three symptoms with daily bleeding gums are likely experiencing gingivitis and not just warning signs.

  • Sensitive gums with occasional bleeding during brushing and flossing
  • Minor gum recession
  • Plaque build-up


When gum disease becomes diagnosable due to the development of a detectable infection, it is typically gingivitis. Left untreated, it can develop into full periodontitis, but if treated in this stage, all of the visible damage is reversible. Gingivitis patients typically experience frequent bleeding during brushing along with pain and tenderness in the gums. The gums also begin to pull away from the teeth visibly. The condition is essentially characterized by the presence of all of the early symptoms to a degree where they affect day-to-day life.


Once the infection progresses to the point where gum recession leads to tooth loosening or even loss, the condition has developed into periodontitis. At this stage, tooth loss can lead to the loss of tissue in the jawbone, and gums continue to recede as the infection grows. There are ways to repair some of the damage done by periodontitis, including tissue grafts that can help compensate for losses and dental implants to replace missing teeth.

If you are struggling with gum disease in Springfield, MO, contact Dr. Leo Tokarczyk today for a consultation appointment.


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