There are different types of gum (periodontal) disease that are defined by the severity.
- Gingivitis – The mildest form of gum disease when the gums bleed easily and are often red and puffy. The patient experiences minimal discomfort and is often unaware of the onset of the disease. Most often caused by poor home care and oral hygiene, gingivitis can be successfully treated in office followed up by improved home care. Although the most common cause has been discussed, diabetes, smoking, stress and improper nutrition can all be factors that contribute to the disease.
- Periodontitis – Over time, untreated gingivitis will advance to periodontitis. The bacteria and plaque will spread further below the gum line resulting in infection. The infection can become severe enough that it will start to destroy the tissue and bones that support the teeth. The gums will no longer be attached to the teeth and periodontal pockets will form. If left untreated, the pockets will become deeper, infection will destroy more tissue and bone and eventually teeth will become loose and may need to be extracted.
Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation
The hygienist will gather data and measurement to assess your overall periodontal health at your first visit. She will continue to update the measurements at subsequent checkup visits to insure your periodontal health is being properly maintained. The hygienist will look at your teeth, probe the gum around the teeth to determine pocket depth, look at the amount of plaque visible as well as any tartar seen below the gum line on x-ray, notate any bleeding or tooth mobility. With these records at hand, your periodontal heath can be determined and, if required, a treatment plan to rectify your periodontal condition can be presented.