The chronic infection causing this disease can leave the oral cavity and spread throughout your body. The condition is linked to many serious health problems. The good news is, in most instances, it’s preventable or reversible. Do you know what it is?
More than likely, you or someone you know has a form of gum disease (periodontitis). Fortunately, you can help prevent gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene and having regular dental visits for exams and cleanings. Let’s discuss types and signs of gum disease.
Types of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It occurs when plaque, the sticky bacterial film on the teeth, builds up at the gumline (where the teeth and gums meet) causing the gums to become red and swollen and easily bleed.
Chronic periodontitis is the most common type of gum disease. When plaque goes below the gumline, it can cause chronic periodontitis (advanced gum disease). The plaque causes irritation and swelling of the gums. Without treatment, it can lead to bone loss and gum recession.
Aggressive periodontitis is the same as chronic periodontitis, but its progression is much quicker. Patients may experience rapid gum separation and bone loss. Patients who have a family history of periodontal disease and smokers are prone to this form of the disease.
Systemic periodontitis occurs because of systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory disease. The presence of systemic disease can make the gum disease progress rapidly even if there is little plaque on the teeth.
Necrotizing periodontitis is an uncommon form of gum disease found in patients who are malnourished, immunosuppressed, or have HIV. The disease causes mouth ulcers and tissue death (necrosis), along with severe gum loss and destruction of bone.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
- Gums bleed easily
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums receding
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Changes in the way your teeth meet
- Permanent teeth are loose
You can take action to help prevent gum disease by maintaining proper oral hygiene practices. Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once a day. Keep regularly scheduled dental exam and cleaning appointments. How long has it been since your last visit? Contact my office to schedule an appointment.
The Dental Care of Boca Raton Team