Checking for gum disease is a part of your regular dental checkup. Dr. Lawton or Dr. Manchester will use a small dental instrument called a periodontal probe to check the space between your teeth and gums. Healthy gums do not bleed, swell, or look inflamed. If our dentists or hygienists spot any of these symptoms, they will further check you for gum disease. Once you are diagnosed, we will know in which stage you are.

There are three stages of periodontal disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Gingivitis is the first stage and is caused by built-up plaque that releases toxins that irritate your gums. This causes your gums to become inflamed or tender, which can cause bleeding in some cases.

Periodontitis is the second stage and is caused by hardened plaque called calculus. Calculus causes your gum line to recede, which creates bigger spaces between your teeth and gums. Inflammation, irritation, and bleeding is more prominent during this stage.

Advanced periodontitis is the third stage and when gum disease has gone untreated in its early stages. During this stage, you are more likely to lose your teeth, and there is a greater chance of bone loss.

After we have diagnosed your stage of gum disease, we can begin treatment. To learn more about how we can diagnose and treat periodontal disease, please call Northwest Center for Prosthodontics at 360-459-4400. We look forward to keeping your teeth intact!