Periodontal Disease: Types and Treatment
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects areas of gum and bone surrounding one’s teeth. What starts as a gingival infection due to a buildup of plaque around one’s teeth, can advance into periodontal disease, which is characterized by gum inflammation, tooth instability, tooth loss and bone damage. While plaque buildup is the leading cause of periodontal disease, other factors, including smoking or tobacco use, stress, genetics, pregnancy, diabetes, immunodeficiency disorders and poor nutrition are also attributed to the disease.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and can be treated through proper oral hygiene and dental cleanings. It is marked by red, swollen and easily bleeding gums; however, there is often little to no discomfort associated with gingivitis. In this form, periodontal disease is non-destructive; however, if it is allowed to advance, aggressive or chronic periodontitis may result.
Aggressive periodontitis is the advancement of bone deterioration and attachment loss in otherwise healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis, which is the most common form of periodontal disease in American adults, progresses more slowly, but can still cause significant damage to one’s gums, teeth and bones if allowed to advance. Chronic periodontitis is marked by gum recession and the formation of pockets between one’s teeth and gums.
Treatment and Prevention of Periodontal Disease
There are a number of surgical and non-surgical treatment procedures that can be utilized to treat periodontal disease depending on the progression of the disease. Surgical procedures include pocket reduction or soft tissue or bone grafting to reverse the advancement of periodontal disease and its damaging effects.
Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings are the best ways to prevent periodontal disease or catch it before it is allowed to advance further. Brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and taking advantage of dental cleanings at least twice a year are the best ways to keep your plaque and a minimum and prevent the onset of periodontal disease.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of periodontal disease in any of its forms, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage to both your teeth and your wallet! Contact us today for your periodontal check-up.