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Periodontal Disease

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

The term “periodontal” literally translates to “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis and gum disease, is a prevalent inflammatory condition that affects the soft tissues supporting and surrounding the tooth, including the jawbone in its advanced stages.

Typically, periodontal disease is preceded by gingivitis, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This infection occurs when toxins in plaque irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once the bacterial infection establishes itself in the gum pockets between the teeth, its removal and treatment become more challenging. Progressing gradually, periodontal disease eventually leads to the deterioration of connective tissue and the jawbone. If left untreated, it can result in teeth shifting, looseness, and ultimately, tooth loss.

This condition stands as the primary cause of tooth loss among adults in developed countries and warrants immediate attention.

Various types of periodontal disease exist:

Chronic Periodontitis

  • Inflammation in supporting tissues causes deep pockets and gum recession. Although it may appear that teeth are lengthening, the actual cause is the receding gums. This common form of periodontal disease involves progressive loss of attachment with intermittent periods of rapid progression.

Aggressive Periodontitis

  • Found in clinically healthy individuals, this type is marked by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction, and a familial tendency.

Necrotizing Periodontitis

  • Occurring primarily in individuals with systemic conditions like HIV, immunosuppression, and malnutrition, this form results in tissue death (necrosis) in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and gingival tissues.

Periodontitis Caused by Systemic Disease

  • Often starting early in life, this type is linked to medical conditions such as respiratory disease, diabetes, and heart disease, serving as common contributing factors.

Understanding the diverse forms of periodontal disease is vital for early detection and timely intervention, as prompt treatment is crucial to prevent further complications and tooth loss. Regular dental check-ups play a key role in maintaining optimal oral health and preventing the progression of periodontal disease. 

Time to schedule your next dental visit? Contact It’s Your Time Dental today!

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