Types of Periodontal Disease
It is important to know that Gum Disease (also know as ‘Periodontitis’) takes many forms and presents with different levels of severity. If left untreated, periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss and other potential health problems.
The most common form of periodontal disease is called ‘Gingivitis’. Gingivitis causes your gums to become red and swollen. They may also tend to bleed easily. At this stage, you may experience little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is usually caused by an inadequate oral hygiene regimen. It is usually reversible with professional treatment and good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Gingivitis may be caused by a number of factors that include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal Fluctuations
- Medication Use
What is Periodontitis?
The advanced form of Gingivitis is called ‘Periodontitis’. When left untreated, gingivitis can advance to the point where the plaque spreads below the gum line. This causes the toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque to irritate the gums themselves. The body reacts by producing an inflammatory response which causes the body to essentially turn on itself. If left untreated, the end result is that the tissues supporting the bone – and therefore the teeth themselves – are broken down and destroyed.
Your gum tissues separate from the teeth and form what is known as ‘pockets’. These pockets are essentially spaces between the teeth and gums that have become infected. As periodontitis progresses, these pockets deepen so that more gum and bone tissue is destroyed. Your teeth may eventually become loose and may even have to be removed as there is no longer any bone structure remaining to hold them in their proper place.
What are the forms of Periodontitis?
The common forms of periodontitis include the following:
- Aggressive periodontitis – This occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy individuals. Common symptoms include rapid attachment loss with bone destruction.
- Chronic periodontitis – This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva (gum line). It results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth and subsequent bone loss. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of the attachment (teeth) loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
- Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases – This often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are all associated with this form of periodontitis.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease – This is an infection characterized by necrosis (death) of the gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. The usually appear as lesions and are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immuno-suppression.
At South Calgary Periodontal Group, we are always welcoming new patients!
Call us at (403) 278-5446 to book your Periodontal Consultation appointment today!