Periodontal disease is basically gum disease.
Before the inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth morphs into periodontal disease, it’s known as gingivitis.
However, not all cases of gingivitis progress to periodontal disease.
Signs of periodontal disease
- Swollen gums
- Red or purplish gums
- Gums recede when pulled back
- The gums are tender to the touch and bleed easily
- Loose teeth because of the gums
- Misaligned bite because teeth don’t fit together properly
- Pus between the teeth
The above symptoms are typical for the three types of periodontal disease, with a few variations.
Chronic periodontal disease
This type of gum disease is prevalent in adults and is caused by the buildup of plaque.
The disease permeates the gums progressively with the above symptoms occurring in phases over long periods of time. This type of periodontal disease is primarily as a result of poor oral hygiene.
Aggressive periodontal disease
When gum disease starts in childhood or puberty, it’s usually a hereditary condition that runs in the family.
Unfortunately, aggressive periodontitis progresses rapidly and the time between the onset of the symptoms and actual tooth loss is very short and can have adverse effects when left untreated.
This aggressive form of gum disease affects a small population.
Necrotizing periodontal disease
This gum disease is the most devastating form of the condition according to periodontists.
The effects of necrotizing periodontitis include the death of the tissues, ligaments, and destruction of the bones around the teeth.
These effects are caused by a lack of blood supply to the tooth, which results in very severe infection. This type of infection occurs in people with a suppressed immune system like people undergoing chemotherapy, HIV infected patients, and even severely malnourished individuals.
Periodontal disease can be avoided most of the time by focusing on sound oral health and having regular dental check-ups.