Different Types of Gum Disease
Generally speaking, gum disease refers to a collection of symptoms that are caused by the bacterial invasion of your periodontal (gum) tissue. Specifically, however, gum disease occurs in many forms. Let’s consider some forms of gum disease as well as their symptoms and effects.
Gingivitis is gum disease in its early stage. This more mild form of periodontal disease is marked by several visible symptoms, namely red and swollen gum tissue that may bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth. At this stage, most people do not notice any discomfort. Typically, gingivitis is the result of deficient oral hygiene and can be reversed with professional teeth cleaning that is followed up with regular at-home care. Aside from poor oral hygiene, other conditions that may contribute to gingivitis include:
- Tobacco products
- The aging process
- Hormonal fluctuations brought on by puberty, pregnancy or menopause
- Drug abuse or certain prescription drugs
- HIV infection
If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to become periodontitis. When plaque is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, the bacteria in this sticky biofilm release toxins that further irritate gum tissue. The body initiates an inflammatory response that begins to destroy the tissue and bone that support your teeth. Gum tissue begins to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets that are susceptible to infection. As periodontitis advances, the breakdown of tissue and bone advances, too. Unfortunately, this progression is not always overt and may quietly, but eventually make tooth extraction necessary.
Periodontitis comes in many forms, but the most common include:
- Aggressive periodontitis is marked by gum tissue that quickly detaches from teeth and rapid bone destruction. This happens to people who are otherwise healthy.
- Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of periodontitis and is recognizable by deep pockets and receding gums. The accompanying inflammation leads to progressive gum detachment and bone loss.
- Periodontitis as a symptom of systemic diseases can begin early in life and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses and diabetes.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection most often associated with HIV, low nutrition and immunosuppression. This type of periodontal disease is marked by necrosis of gum tissue, periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone.
Contact Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists
Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists provide services to repair and renew your periodontal health. For gum disease, Colorado Springs trust Drs. Lackler and Haradon. To ensure your periodontal health and heart health, please request an appointment!