Types of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a progressive disease that affects the supporting and surrounding tissue of the gums and the underlying jawbone. If left untreated, periodontal disease can result in loose, unstable teeth, and even tooth loss. Periodontal disease is in fact the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the developed world and should not be taken lightly.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease or unexplained tooth loss, contact the periodontist professionals at Martinez Dental Solutions. Request an appointment today when you speak with one of our Jacksonville offices.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease begins when the toxins found in plaque start to attack the soft or gingival tissue surrounding the teeth. This bacterium embeds itself in the gum and rapidly breeds, causing a bacterial infection. As the infection progresses, it starts to burrow deeper into the tissue, causing inflammation or irritation between the teeth and gums. The response of the body is to destroy the infected tissue, which is why the gums appear to recede. The resulting pockets between the teeth deepen and, if no periodontal disease treatment is sought, the tissue that makes up the jawbone also recedes, causing unstable teeth and tooth loss.
Types of Periodontal Disease
There are many different varieties of periodontal disease and many ways in which these variations manifest themselves. All require immediate periodontal disease treatment by a periodontist to halt the progression and save the gum tissue and bone.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease along with the treatments typically performed to correct them:
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of periodontitis. It is caused by the toxins in plaque and leads to periodontal disease. People at increased risk of developing gingivitis include pregnant women, women taking birth control pills, people with uncontrolled diabetes, steroid users, and people who control seizures and blood pressure using medication.
Treatment: Gingivitis is easily reversible using a solid combination of home care and professional cleanings. The dentist may perform root planing and deep scaling procedures to cleanse the pockets of debris. A combination of antibiotics and medicated mouthwashes may be used to kill any remaining bacteria and promote healing of the pockets.
Chronic periodontal disease is the most common form of gum disease and occurs much more frequently in people over 45. Chronic periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation below the gum line and the progressive destruction of the gingival and bone tissue. It may appear that the teeth are gradually growing in length, but in actuality, the gums are gradually receding.
Treatment: Unfortunately, unlike gingivitis, chronic periodontal disease cannot be completely cured because the supportive tissue cannot be rebuilt. However, the dentist can halt the progression of the disease using scaling and root planing procedures in combination with antimicrobial treatments. If necessary, the periodontist can perform surgical treatments such as pocket reduction surgery and tissue grafts to strengthen the bone and improve the aesthetic appearance of the oral cavity.
Aggressive periodontal disease is characterized by the rapid loss of bone tissue and familial aggregation. The disease itself is essentially the same as chronic periodontitis, but the progression is much faster. Smokers and those with a family history of this disease are at an increased risk of developing aggressive periodontitis.
Treatment: The periodontal treatments for this aggressive disease are the same as those for chronic periodontal disease, but aggressive periodontal disease sufferers are far more likely to require a surgical intervention. This form of the disease is harder to halt and treat, but the dentist will perform scaling, root planing, antimicrobial, and in some cases laser procedures in an attempt to save valuable tissue and bone.
Periodontal disease can be a symptom of a disease or condition affecting the rest of the body. Depending on the underlying condition, the disease can behave like aggressive periodontal disease, working quickly to destroy tissue. Heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease are the most common cofactors, though there are many others. Even in cases where little plaque coats the teeth, many medical conditions intensify and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease.
Treatment: Initially, the medical condition which caused the onset of periodontal disease must be controlled. The dentist will halt the progression of the disease using the same treatments used for controlling aggressive and chronic periodontal disease.
This form of the disease rapidly worsens and is more prevalent among people who suffer from HIV, immunosuppression, malnutrition, chronic stress, or choose to smoke. Tissue death (necrosis) frequently affects the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues, and alveolar bone.
Treatment: Necrotizing periodontal disease is extremely rare. Because it may be associated with HIV or another serious medical condition, it is likely the dentist will consult with a physician before commencing treatment. Scaling, root planing, antibiotic pills, medicated mouth wash, and fungicidal medicines are generally used to treat this form of the disease.
Why Choose Us for Periodontal Disease Treatment?
When you notice signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, you need a periodontist you can trust with this serious dental and medical condition. This is why we offer these benefits when you visit one of our Jacksonville offices:
- Our dentists own and manage our dental offices, and you will always see the same dentist each time you visit
- Most dental services can be performed in-house, such as extractions and dental implants
- Our 3D machines, in both locations, help us diagnose dental problems accurately, ensuring every patient receives quality care geared toward restoring and enhancing their smile
- We provide emergency services and are accepting new patients
Allow Us to Restore Your Beautiful Smile
If you have any questions or concerns about the different types of periodontal disease and treatments, request an appointment with us today. We are more than happy to help you with all your dental needs including dental exams, cleaning and prevention services, dental restorations, and cosmetic dentistry like inlays, onlays, and fixed bridges. Located in Jacksonville, we serve Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Riverside, Fleming Island, and all surrounding communities.