Preventive Dentistry and Gum Disease

Gum DiseasePeople of all ages can be affected by gum disease. Gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is a common inflammatory condition which affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth; also the jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly treated.

Here are some of the most common types of gum disease:

  1. Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues cause deep pockets and gum recession. It may appear the teeth are lengthening, but in actuality, the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterised by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
  2. Aggressive periodontitis – This form of gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterised by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction and familial aggregation
  3. Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease often begins at an early age. Medical condition such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease are common cofactors.

Treatment for Gum Disease

There are many nonsurgical and surgical treatments your dentist may choose to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended. For the most aggressive form of gum disease, specialist referral may be recommended to slow the disease process.