The term “periodontal”means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (also
known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition which
affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth; also the
jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial
infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when
the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues.
Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it
becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a
progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective
tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can lead to shifting teeth,
loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the
developed world and should always be promptly treated.
Types of Periodontal Disease
When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) can spread to below the
gum line. When the gums become irritated by the toxins contained in
plaque, a chronic inflammatory response causes the body to break down and
destroy its own bone and soft tissue. There may be little or no symptoms
as periodontal disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum
tissue. Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth are generally indicative
that soft tissue and bone is being destroyed by periodontal disease.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments the periodontist may choose
to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone.
A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is
performed or recommended.
Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:
Ask our staff if you have questions or concerns about periodontal
disease, periodontal treatment, or dental implants.