Types of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a bacterial infection that can destroy the soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. The most common types of periodontal disease include:
Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease that affects only the gum tissue. Gingiva, commonly referred to as gums, is the soft tissue at the floor of the oral cavity (mouth) that covers the roots of the teeth. Gingivitis may result from plaque (a sticky substance made up of bacteria) buildup on teeth and may lead to red, swollen gums that are prone to bleeding while brushing. Injury or trauma to the gums, due to improper brushing technique and certain medical conditions, may increase your risk of developing gingivitis. The disease is reversible at this stage; however, if left untreated it may progress to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Periodontitis occurs from a progression of gingivitis and affects the tissues supporting the teeth, resulting in loss of bone and the teeth itself. The periodontium refers to the tissue that surrounds and supports the root of the teeth. Periodontitis usually develops as a result of poor oral hygiene. This stage of the disease is irreversible; the damage to the bone or surrounding tissues cannot be reversed. Complications associated with periodontitis include risk of heart attack or stroke, low birth weight babies, poorly controlled diabetes, and other serious health problems. Regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups can greatly reduce your chance of developing periodontitis.