Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. The three stages of gum disease, from less to more severe, are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is the inflammation of the gums, caused by the accumulation of dental plaque in the gum line.
Periodontitis: At this stage, the supporting bone and the fibers that hold the teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. The gums begin to form a pouch below the gum line, which encourages the penetration and growth of plaque below the gum line.
Advanced Periodontitis: In this more advanced stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone of the teeth are destroyed, which can cause the teeth to move or loosen. This can affect your bite and how to eat and communicate. If aggressive periodontal therapy cannot save them, the tooth may need to be removed by a specialist. Your dentist will provide repair options if the teeth are removed due to periodontal disease.