Although the term gum disease is often used instead of periodontal disease or periodontitis, it can actually affect far more than just the gums. Your bone and jawbone can also be infected, and if left untreated, periodontitis can lead to the loss of teeth and other teeth moving around within your jawline. The primary cause of tooth loss in adults, gum disease should never be treated lightly, and your dentist will want to treat it as soon as possible.

The simple cause of periodontal disease is when plaque is left to sit on the gums, and then bacteria and toxins will start to feed on it. As the bacteria grows in number, it will move from the plaque onto your gums and start to destroy them, and eventually this bacterial infection will cause the body to react – but that reaction can lead to side effects such as losing your teeth, and the recession of your gums. These pockets between teeth and gums can then start to get deeper, housing more bacteria, and eventually the bone itself will be affected, leading to teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out.

Periodontitis aka Gum Disease

Periodontitis (inflammation of the gums)

Gum Disease Types

There are many differenttypes of gum disease, and they all have slightly different symptoms. All of them, however, require expert attention from your dentist, and will need to be treated as soon as it is recognized in order to prevent the progression of the disease in order to save as much gum, tissue, and bone.

Here are the most common types of periodontal disease, with information about how to spot them and how they are often treated:


This is the mildest form of gum disease, and most other types will start with this type. The toxins in plaque will start off this disease, which is one most likely to be found with women who are on the birth control pill, women who are pregnant, any person who has diabetes that is being untreated, anyone who is taking steroids, and anyone who is taking medication for blood pressure or to prevent seizures.

Treatment: if diagnosed early enough, then specialist cleaning by your dentist should be enough to remove the bacteria and help your teeth to recover. If any pockets have been created in your gums, then your dentist will also want to make sure that all of the debris that could be within them is removed, and antibiotics along with medicated mouthwash will be offered to ensure that the bacteria does not come back.

Chronic Periodontal Disease

More common in those who are 45 years old and over, this is a common variant of periodontal disease and is known for being particularly problematic below the gum line. Although it will appear to you that your teeth are somehow getting longer, in fact it is your gums that are getting shorter and are therefore receding.

Treatment: although a complete cure is impossible because you cannot grow back the gum tissue that is lost, your dentist should be able to prevent further damage from continuing by scaling and planing in your mouth to completely remove all of the bacteria that is present within your mouth. An antimicrobial treatment may also have to be offered, and in some more extreme cases pocket reduction surgery and/or tissue grafts may be offered to make your mouth feel and look better.

Aggressive Periodontal Disease

There is nothing particularly different about this kind of periodontal disease, except the fact that it happens a lot quicker than all of the others. This rapid loss of gum tissue, bone, and teeth loss means that many people simply do not have the time to respond. It is much more common in smokers, and those who already have aggressive periodontal disease in their family.

Treatment: although the treatment for aggressive periodontal disease is much the same as the treatment for chronic periodontal disease, surgical options are much more likely to help as there is little one can do to prevent it all from happening. Laser procedures are often offered to those who would benefit from it, and antimicrobial products should be able to slow the rate down so that the dentist can save as tissue and gum.

Periodontal Disease Connected with Systemic Conditions

For some patients, periodontal disease is actually a by-product of another, much more serious ailment that their body is trying to fight off. This could be something such as heart disease, diabetes, or even respiratory disease, and there are many other options. This means that there may not actually be a huge amount of plaque in the patient’s mouth, so they may not realise what they are suffering from in the first place, yet these other illnesses mean that the periodontal disease could quicken in speed.

Treatment: the original problem will need to be treated first, and only after that initial medical condition will your dentist be able to assess how best to prevent the periodontal disease from becoming either chronic or aggressive.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

This form is more frequent in patients that already have HIV or another kind of immunosuppressive disease, or with someone who has malnutrition along with smoking habits or chronic stress. This leads to tissue death in the bones and gums, but is very rare.

Treatment: the dentist would need to consult with the doctor treating the initial medical concern first, and will work in partnership with them to best help the patient.

To find out if you are in danger of gum disease, call (619) 6400-5100 for a free consultation

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