There are several types of periodontal disease, categorized by their severity. As your gum disease progresses to more severe and damaging conditions, different types of the disease develop.
Periodontal disease begins as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest stage of gum disease, and is characterized by inflammation (redness) of the gums. There are very few obvious signs of periodontal disease in this stage, as it is generally painless. Gingivitis is also the only stage of gum disease in which it is possible to completely cure the disease and reverse any damage done.
If your gingivitis is left untreated, it may progress into one of the following types of periodontal disease:
- Chronic Periodontitis – Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of gum disease, and is characterized by progressive gum recession and inflammation below the gum line. At this stage, the disease has progressed to the jaw bone surrounding the roots of the teeth. Bone loss has occurred at this stage. Common treatments during this stage of gum disease include scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), osseous surgery, Laser surgery and tissue grafting.
- Aggressive Periodontitis – This form of periodontal disease often occurs in otherwise healthy individuals. It is characterized by the rapid loss of gum attachment and chronic bone destruction, and is incredibly difficult to halt. Patients with aggressive periodontitis often require surgical treatment.
- Necrotizing Periodontitis – Necrotizing periodontitis usually occurs in patients with systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression, and malnutrition. It is characterized by tissue death in the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues, and alveolar bone (the bone that holds the tooth sockets). Dr. Smith will consult with your medical physician when planning treatments for this form of gum disease.
There is also a type of gum disease caused by systemic medical conditions. Periodontal disease caused by systemic conditions often begins at a young age. Medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease are the most common systemic conditions which cause and contribute to this type of gum disease.
When you meet with Dr. Smith in Merced, California, we will thoroughly examine your mouth to determine which type of periodontal disease you have and develop an appropriate treatment plan to help improve your oral and overall health.
For more information about the different types of periodontal disease and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith, please call our office today.