The Different Types of Gum Disease

The Different Types of Gum Disease

by Yenny (SU)

Gum disease is one of the most prevalent oral health issues, affecting millions of people each year. You’ve probably heard about gum disease from your dentist or from commercials advertising toothpaste or mouthwash – but do you understand what gum disease is?

Conditions which affect the soft tissue that your teeth are attached to are known as gum disease. There are two types of gum disease that are most common: gingivitis and periodontitis. Let’s take a look at these two forms of periodontal disease.

What Is Gingivitis? 

Gingivitis is inflammation in the gums, and it’s typically caused by an infection from bacteria. There are hundreds of thousands of cases of gingivitis in the United States every year, and many go untreated.

How Does Gingivitis Develop? 

Gingivitis can develop if food is left trapped near the gums and ends up causing a gum infection. It can also develop when plaque (a thin layer of bacteria) is left on the teeth due to inadequate cleaning.

When plaque continues to grow and reaches the gum line, it can cause gingivitis. This infection should be treated as soon as possible, because it can lead to a host of problems such as receding gums, loose teeth, and permanent loss of teeth.

It can also lead to other serious dental conditions like periodontitis.

Risk Factors of Gingivitis

Risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing gingivitis are poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, genetics, certain medications (steroids, calcium channel blockers, chemotherapy, etc.), and broken fillings. 

What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. If periodontitis is left untreated, it can eventually lead to loss of teeth and even problems in the jaw.

Types of Periodontitis

There are three common types of periodontitis:

Chronic Periodontitis 

Chronic periodontitis mostly affects adults, and it happens due to buildup of plaque. This condition develops slowly and tends to go through phases of getting better and worse. 

Instead of lasting for a short period of time, chronic periodontitis stays for several months or years. 

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

This type of periodontitis typically develops in people with suppressed immune systems (such as people who have HIV, are undergoing chemotherapy, etc.). It involves a lack of blood supply to the gums, thereby causing severe deterioration of gum tissue and supporting bone. 

Aggressive Periodontitis

This type of periodontitis progresses very quickly to the adjacent bone, and it causes tooth loss significantly more quickly than other types of periodontitis. Aggressive periodontitis typically begins in children or young adults and is not very common.

How Does Periodontitis Develop? 

Periodontitis can develop due to plaque buildup. Improper hygiene is usually responsible for periodontitis, similarly to gingivitis. While plaque can be removed through brushing and flossing, it quickly builds up again.

Another cause of periodontitis is untreated gingivitis.

Risk Factors of Periodontitis 

Factors that increase the chances of a person developing periodontitis include existing gingivitis, poor oral hygiene, smoking, substance abuse, obesity, vitamin C deficiency, suppressed immune systems, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and genetics. 

Experienced Dentist in Oregon 

A great way to prevent gum disease is to visit your dentist regularly. Be sure to see your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups. If you do develop gum disease, it can be quickly addressed by your dentist. 

If you are looking for a great dental team, consider 360 Dental. Whether you need routine dental care, braces, dentures, or a cosmetic dental procedure, 360 Dental has the knowledge and experience to treat you.

Call us today at (541) 689-1645 to schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you maintain excellent oral health throughout your lifetime.