While it’s always our teeth which are the focus of our dental health, that does not mean that we should neglect our gums. Gum infection and diseases can lead to serious repercussions including gum and bone degeneration and teeth loss. For this reason, you should be just as zealous as your dentist in taking care of the part of your mouth which holds your teeth in place – your gums.
Two Forms of Gum Disease
There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. You may have heard already about gingivitis from your dentist or from mouthwash commercials. Gingivitis is the milder form of the two, involving reddening and swelling of gums as well as bleeding tendencies especially when brushing. It’s important to nip the problem while it’s still classified as gingivitis since this disease, when left untreated, could lead to the more severe periodontitis.
Periodontitis involves the inflammation of gums and surrounding bones which could compromise the ability of your gums to anchor teeth into place. Some of the signs and symptoms of periodontitis are mouth sores, pain radiating from gums and a sour taste.
Different Types of Periodontitis
Due to the serious nature of periodontitis, dentists everywhere stress the need for stricter dental hygiene and regular checkups for those who already have some form of gum disease. At the same time, periodontitis comes in different types which all carry characteristic signs and symptoms:
Aggressive Periodontitis. The hallmark of this type of gum disease is that the deterioration happens very rapidly with the destruction of the jawbones occurring progressively even in healthy people.
Chronic Periodontitis. Being the most common type of periodontitis, the inflammation which is associated with chronic periodontitis happens slowly but if allowed to linger without any proper treatment, this type of gum disease can still lead to tooth loss.
Periodontitis as Complication of Other Diseases. While the leading cause of gum disease is due to poor dental hygiene, you can get periodontitis even if you religiously brush our teeth three times a day, gargle with mouthwash and even floss. Some specific diseases which could induce periodontitis include diabetes, heart disease and lung disorders.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease. This is one of the worst forms of gum disease because it induces necrosis of jaw bone and gum disease. The severe damage that this type of periodontitis causes may be complicated by the presence of diseases such as HIV, cancer and malnutrition.