A major cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. It is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth and the underlying jawbone. If left untreated gum disease, also known as periodontal disease and periodontitis, can result in loose, unstable teeth, and even tooth loss. Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease along with the treatments typically performed to correct them:
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of gum disease. It is caused by the toxins in plaque and leads to periodontitis disease if untreated. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily, especially during brushing and flossing.
Treatment: Gingivitis is reversible and can be eliminated with a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing. You can use antibiotics and antimicrobial mouthwash to kill any remaining bacteria and help the healing of the pockets.
If untreated gingivitis can advance to chronic periodontitis. This occurs when the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. As the body fights the plaque, the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed.
Treatment: Chronic periodontitis cannot be completely cured because the supportive tissue cannot be rebuilt. However, the dentist can halt the progression of the disease using scaling and root planning procedures in combination with antimicrobial treatments.
The rapid loss of gum attachment and bone tissue is known as aggressive periodontitis. It may occur in some areas of the mouth or the entire mouth. The gums and bone of the teeth are being destroyed, which can cause teeth to shift or loosen.
Treatment: The treatment is the same as chronic periodontitis, but gingival flap surgery may need to be performed to reduce periodontal pockets. Bone grafting may be required to restore the destroyed bone.
Removing dental plaque is the best way to prevent gum disease. Brushing and flossing every day and scheduling regular dental visits is the key to keeping gum disease from occurring.