Office - Downtown Periodontal Group

What is Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a silent disease that often causes no symptoms, especially in its early stages. Also known as "gum disease", it affects the bone, gums and other tissues as well. It is often chronic and may go untreated until the damage is irreversible, and leads to eventual tooth loss. The bacteria that causes gum disease has also been linked to heart disease and other serious conditions.

Periodontal disease has various stages / degrees of severity.

  • Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar cause inflammation of the gums, and pockets begin to form between the gums & the teeth. It is usually reversible with dental cleanings and effective oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing. Left untreated, it can progress to Periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis is the next progression of gingivitis, with the infection and inflammation spreading to the bone supporting the teeth. Pockets between the gums & the teeth begin to deepen destroying gum, bone and supporting tissues.
  • Advanced Periodontitis occurs when the pockets deepen further, sometimes filling with pus. The bone loss continues and teeth loosen due to loss of bone and supporting tissues. In some cases, teeth may need to be removed to prevent spreading of the disease to adjacent teeth.
  • Recession can occur for a variety of reasons, such as aggressive tooth brushing or periodontal disease. Untreated recession may also lead to eventual tooth loss. As the tissue recedes further, you begin to lose some of the bone supporting the teeth. Some people also choose to treat recession due to sensitive teeth, which can occur when the roots of the teeth are exposed. For others, recession can be a cosmetic issue. Regardless of the reason, recession can be treated with a procedure known as soft-tissue grafting.