Although preventable, over 47% of Americans over 30 years old and about 19% of the global population suffer from some form of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to various oral health issues, including tooth loss. 

Let's say that you started noticing that your gums are bleeding. At first, they're only bleeding when you are brushing your teeth, but slowly you notice that the bleeding occurs in other moments too, such as when you are biting on harder foods. 

Are these the signs of gum disease? And if so, can you do anything to reverse it? Let's find out! 

The Stages of Gum Disease 

Gum disease occurs when too much plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and gums. This can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and, eventually, tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease progresses in stages and doesn't create any significant damage immediately. The stages of gum disease are as follows:


Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. At this stage, your gum will become red and swollen and start bleeding. 


Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease when the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that can become infected. The infection can cause the bone and tissue that support the teeth to break down, leading to tooth loss. 

Treatment for periodontitis typically includes deep cleaning, as well as a procedure known as periodontal surgery. This surgery is used to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and to smooth the root surfaces of the teeth to help prevent re-infection.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease, where the connective tissue and bone that support the teeth are severely damaged. At this stage, teeth may become loose or may even fall out. Treatment options for advanced periodontitis typically include periodontal surgery, as well as the use of antibiotics to help control the infection. 

Can You Reverse Gum Disease? 

Gum disease can be reversed, but only if it's identified and treated in the early stages - gingivitis. Your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. They may also prescribe you antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill bacteria in the mouth.

Of course, you will need to pay close attention to your oral health and brush and floss your teeth without exception. 

How to Prevent Gum Disease 

It's actually not that hard to prevent gum disease. All you have to do is: 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily 
  • Use a mouthwash to kill bacteria 
  • Avoid smoking as it can increase the risk of gum disease 
  • Visit your dentist for preventive care. 

Struggling with Gum Disease? We Can Help! 

At Poulos & Somers, our Denver dentists can help you prevent, diagnose, and treat all stages of gum disease. We have extensive experience and are using the latest technology to treat periodontitis. Want to learn more? Contact us online to book your appointment.