By better understanding the different stages and types of periodontal (gum) disease, you'll be more motivated to do all you can to prevent it or treat it as early as possible.
Gingivitis, The First Stage
The first and mildest form of gum disease is gingivitis, which first shows itself by such symptoms as gum tissue becoming red, inflamed, and bleeding easily when brushing your teeth (or eating or at other times as well).
However, the danger of gingivitis is that it is not so uncomfortable or even obvious at first, that people always run out to get treatment without delay. Poor oral hygiene, smoking tobacco products, having diabetes, a low-nutrition diet, and being genetically predisposed in the first place are all risk factors.
4 Types Of Periodontitis
When gingivitis is not treated early enough, or at all, it almost always eventually advances into periodontitis. This stage involves bacterial infection digging deeper below the gum line and in the interdental spaces. Tooth roots are often filled with cavities until they loosen, and the tooth may finally fall out.
White pus may be seen exuding from the gums. Bleeding becomes more frequent and hard to control. The underlying bone structure is often weakened and eroded to a degree. And the gums may become painful to the touch, while deep pockets of bacteria are embedded in the gum tissue.
But all advanced gum disease isn't exactly the same. Here are 4 common forms of periodontitis to be aware of:
1. Aggressive Periodontitis
Sometimes, an aggressive, rapidly advancing form of periodontitis occurs in those who are generally healthy in all other ways. Any significant delay in getting it diagnosed and treated could lead to gum tissue detaching from tooth roots, alveolar bone loss, and ultimately tooth loss.
2. Chronic Periodontitis
With chronic periodontitis, which is easily the most common type of the disease, gum infection and other symptoms progress more slowly than with its aggressive counterpart. The rate of progression may ebb and flow, but the danger here is that people will "put up with" it too long and let it grow worse.
3. Side Effect Periodontitis
In certain cases, advanced gum disease is the result of a systemic disease like diabetes, lung disease, or cardiac conditions. In this case, it is really a "side effect" of an even bigger health problem - and both must be treated.
4. Necrotizing Periodontitis
When periodontitis is particularly characterized by "tissue death" (necrosis), both of gum and underlying bone tissue, and by lesions that "just won't heal" on their own, it is called necrotizing periodontitis.
To learn more about the different forms of gum disease and how to prevent and treat them, contact Dr. Raymond Kenzik in Central Florida today!