A periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an inflammation in the area around the tooth that affects the supporting soft tissues and the jawbone. Periodontal disease typically results from a case of gingivitis, a gum tissue bacterial infection. The infection occurs when the toxins in the plaque start to irritate and then inflame the gum tissues. When the bacterial infection spreads to the gum pockets between the teeth, removal and treatment become much more difficult.
A gum disease can progress rapidly, eventually resulting in damage to the connective tissues and jawbone. When left untreated, the condition may cause the teeth to loosen and, ultimately, fall out.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Mild inflammation of the gums, if not treated, can spread to the area below the gum line. Once the toxins in the plaque begin to irritate the gums, there could be a chronic inflammatory response that will result in the breaking down of the soft tissues and bones. A periodontal disease may not manifest any symptoms. Rather, it may silently cause the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue. When you observe deep pockets forming between the gums and teeth, it means that the soft tissues and bones are being slowly destroyed by periodontal disease.
The first type of periodontal disease is known as chronic periodontitis. It is an inflammation of the supporting tissues that results in gum recession and deep pockets. It will appear that the teeth are getting longer, but the fact is that the gums are receding to show more teeth. This is the most common form of periodontal disease.
Aggressive periodontitis occurs in a clinically healthy individual. This disease is characterized by the fast loss of gum attachment, bone destruction, and aggregation. As opposed to aggressive periodontitis, necrotizing periodontitis occurs in individuals who suffer from HIV, malnutrition, and immunosuppression. Tissue death, or necrosis, occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and gingival tissues.
A final type of periodontitis is caused by systemic illness such as respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes.