Types of Gum Disease
Gum disease (also commonly referred to as periodontal disease) is a progressive disease that affects your gums, the periodontal ligaments (the structures that support your teeth and hold them firmly in place), and your jawbone. Left untreated, gum disease has serious oral and whole-health consequences, including gum recession, loose teeth, missing teeth, heart disease, stroke and more. There are several types of gum disease, and they all need to be treated as soon as possible. At Fusion Dental Specialists, we can both diagnose and treat them all, helping to restore the health of your mouth.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is a mild form, as well as the most common. It is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth irritating your gum tissue. Your immune system sends substances to fight off the bacteria, which results in inflammation. The signs and symptoms of gingivitis are often overlooked—red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Gingivitis is easily treated with regular at-home and professional care.
Chronic Gum Disease
Chronic gum disease is another common form of gum disease and is characterized by swelling below the gum line as well as growing destruction of your gum tissue, periodontal ligaments, and jawbone. A common warning sign is gum recession, when your gums pull away from your teeth, recede, and make your teeth appear longer.
Unlike gingivitis, chronic gum disease is not that easily treated. We can stop the progression of gum disease with a treatment known as scaling and root planing. Depending on the severity of the condition, we can also perform surgical procedures to help restore the health and aesthetics of your mouth.
Aggressive Gum Disease
Aggressive gum disease is similar to chronic gum disease, except that deteriorate happens at a much faster rate. Your gums recede quicker, and your jawbone weakens faster. The rate of destruction, however, is inconsistent with the buildup on your teeth. Treatment methods for aggressive gum disease are similar to those for chronic gum disease, and surgery is often required.
Gum Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions
Certain systemic conditions often have gum disease as a symptom. Some of the most common systemic conditions include diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory issues. In many cases, gum disease may act similarly to aggressive gum disease, destroying tissue and bone at a faster rate. Treatment requires that both the systemic disease and your gum disease be treated.
Necrotizing Gum Disease
Necrotizing gum disease is common among those who suffer from immunosuppression, malnutrition, are under significant stress, and smokers. Necrosis (death) of the gum tissue occurs rapidly and affects the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the jawbone. It is rare, and in many cases, we must first consult with your physician before starting any treatment. Treatments commonly used include scaling and root planing and antibiotics.
Brushing and flossing daily, along with twice yearly visits to the office for cleanings and exams, can help to keep gum disease at bay. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to gum disease, contact Fusion Dental Specialists right away at (503) 653-9517, we are here to help!