What Do You Know About Gum Disease?

There’s a good chance you or someone you know has gum disease. Periodontitis (gum disease) can cause serious oral health problems. The presence of gum disease can also be a sign of other health problems like diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory ailments.

There are several types of gum disease you need to know about. At Dentistry by Angela Britt, we want to educate you about gum disease because early detection leads to better treatment outcomes.

Types of Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on your teeth, causes gingivitis. When plaque contacts the gum line (where the teeth and gums meet), it causes your gums to become red and swollen. Your gums will easily bleed.

Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of gum disease. Plaque below the gumline can turn into chronic periodontitis (advanced gum disease). The bacteria in the plaque spreads infection, which irritates the gums and causes swelling. Untreated gum disease destroys tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

Aggressive periodontitis is the same as chronic periodontitis but progresses quicker. Patients with aggressive periodontitis have rapid gum separation and bone loss. Smokers and patients with a family history of periodontal disease are more likely to get this form of gum disease.

Systemic periodontitis is caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory disease. The underlying systemic disease can make the gum disease progress quickly even when there is little plaque on the teeth.

Necrotizing periodontitis is a rare form of gum disease found in patients who suffer from malnutrition, immunosuppression, or HIV. It causes mouth ulcers and necrosis (death of tissue). There is severe gum loss and bone destruction.

Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Tender, red, or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth close together

You can prevent gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Get regular cleanings and dental exams. If it has been six months since your last exam, call our office to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Brunswick, Georgia, and the surrounding areas.