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What is the First Stage of Gum Disease and Its Symptoms?

Nov 20, 2022 | Periodontics, Surgery

Gum disease is a progressive disorder, with its earliest stages relatively mild compared to the more advanced stages of this disease. With half of the adult American population suffering from some degree of this oral ailment, knowing the early signs of gum disease is extremely important for proper treatment and reversal of it before it turns into full-blown periodontal disease.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Fortunately, if it is treated early, it usually doesn’t result in permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Some people may have a higher risk of developing gingivitis and more advanced forms of gum disease due to medical issues, family history, and genetics, but many of the factors causing gingivitis are within your control.

Identifying Early-Stage Gum Disease

Healthy gums are pink, firm to the touch, and are secured to the teeth without visible roots. However, failure to properly take care of your teeth and gums can cause your healthy gums to quickly devolve into a condition known as gingivitis.

Caused by bacteria-infested plaque buildup along your gum line, gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Because it is relatively easily treated and reversed at this stage, preventing it from becoming a more advanced problem requires little more than having an oral hygiene regimen in place.

According to Dr. David Mugford, a Baltimore-area Periodontics and Dental Implants specialist, signs of gingivitis include:

  • Red, irritated, swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitivity when you eat hot or cold foods
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Receding gums

Gingivitis is wholly reversible without major medical intervention or any permanent, lasting damage to your gums. If you start to notice any of the above symptoms along your gum line, it’s vital to take a hard look at your brushing and flossing habits. Be honest with yourself: are you taking time to brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time? Do you floss regularly? If your answer is “no” then we strongly recommend that you don’t delay taking better care of your teeth. While gingivitis is curable, once the disease progresses to advanced periodontal disease, your prognosis worsens significantly.

Get More Information

If you suspect that you have gingivitis, please reach out to us and allow us to help you treat your gum disease. Call today to schedule a dental exam with a cleaning, and, if it turns out that you do have gum disease, we can start treatment for it right away. Call Crofton, Maryland-based Mugford Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants today at (410) 260-0790.