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Blog by Dr. Gilbert Lee | November 14th, 2017

At Seymour Dental we teach all about home care and gum care. Patient dental education is an important part of keeping a healthy oral cavity. 

Here is a list of the different stages of gum disease. 

Gum Care

Periodontal Disease

The earlier you treat periodontal disease, the easier it is to control, and the better chance you have of restoring the health of your mouth and saving your teeth.

In a healthy mouth, teeth fit snugly in their sockets, their roots surrounded by a strong foundation of gums and other supportive tissue.

Gum Care

Stages of the Disease


If not removed regularly from teeth and gums, bacteria grow out of control and produce toxins that irritate your gums. Calculus along the gum line forms a rough surface on which plaque accumulates, causing more irritation and swelling. You may notice sore, bleeding gums or bad breath. Spaces between gum and tooth (pockets) may exist, but no bone is damaged in this mild, reversible form of periodontal disease.



The most common cause of periodontitis plaque (and sometimes calculus) is found bellow the gum line. The ligaments break down and the gum detaches and pulls away from the teeth. The pockets deepen and fill with more bacteria. Supportive ligaments and bone start to show damage, resulting in loose teeth.


Advanced Periodontitis

When periodontitis progresses to the advanced stage, pockets deepen and may fill with pus. There may be swelling around the root and bone loss increases, your teeth may lose so much support that they fall out or need to be removed to preserve the overall health of your mouth.

Advanced Peridontitis

Symptoms / Diagnosis

At home, you can be on the alert for the warning signs of periodontal disease. If you have any of the following symptoms, see your dentist at once:

  • Red swollen, or tender gums

  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth

  • Pus between the teeth and gums (noticeable when the gums are pressed)

  • Loose permanent teeth

  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

  • A change in the fit of your partial dentures

  • Bad breath

Of course, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of periodontal disease is to have your mouth thoroughly examined. During an examination your gums are evaluated for bleeding, swelling, firmness, and abnormal contours by your dentist or periodontist. Your teeth are also checked for movement and sensitivity, as well as your bite (which could be a contributing factor to the condition) is also assessed.

Full mouth x-rays less than a year old are usually required to detect breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth. Periodontal probing below the gum line involves measuring and recording the depth of the pockets around each tooth, which you can't see or feel. Probing is the key technique your periodontist uses to find out how serious your disease is and to plan your treatment.


Periodontal probing

Peridontal Probing

A probe is like a tiny ruler. Your periodontist inserts this tool gently in the spare, or pocket, between your tooth and gum. The deeper the probe goes, the deeper the pocket, and the more severe the periodontal disease.