Also known as gum disease or periodontitis, periodontal disease involves two stages namely gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis usually comes before periodontitis. However, it is important to note that not all cases of gingivitis will develop into periodontitis, as stated by WebMD.
The first step of gum disease is gingivitis which starts with a bacterial growth in the mouth. At this stage, there is a plaque build-up which leads to the inflammation of the gums thus causing bleeding when a person brushes the teeth. The teeth may not be affected even though the gums may be irritated. Also, no damage occurs to the bones and the surrounding tissues. Treatment at this stage is easy because the condition only affects the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis develops to a more serious condition called periodontitis, as stated by WebMD.
In periodontitis, the inner layer of the gums pull away from the teeth leading to the formation of pockets. The pockets collect debris, which might trigger an infection. The plaque starts to grow spreading below the gum line. The depth of the pockets are also likely to increase, as stated by Arestin. The condition develops slowly and may become severe thus leading to a surgical operation.