Gum disease can be divided into two main categories depending the severity of the disease.

The first stage is called gingivitis. At this stage, your gums may feel tender, and may bleed when flossed or brushed. They may also appear tender and red. This condition is often present without any pain, even though build-up of plaque and tartar is silently occurring on your teeth. When gingivitis is present, only the gums are affected, but if this condition isn’t corrected, it will lead to the second stage of periodontal disease. Therefore, it is important to brush, floss and follow your hygienists recommendations to reverse this milder form of the disease.

The second stage of periodontal disease occurs when gingivitis advances to a condition known as periodontitis. When the plaque that causes the irritation, redness, and tenderness in the gingivitis stage of the disease is not treated, the plaque advances to below the gum line. At this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets where bacteria can pool, which causes further destruction of the gums. As the bacteria spread, they begin to affect the roots, supporting fiber and bone that support the teeth. Proper dental care and better home care can help stop more damage even at this stage, but it is imperative to seek care in order to stop tooth loss and further infection.