Periodontal disease is a common inflammatory condition that affects the surrounding soft tissues of the tooth and the jawbone in advanced stages.
Gingivitis is most often associated with periodontal disease and it typically precedes the disease. The bacterial infection affects the gums when plaque irritates and inflames the gum tissue. Once the bacteria infection gets into the gum pockets between the teeth it is very difficult to treat. If untreated it can cause significant damage to the teeth and to the jaw bone.
Note: The disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly treated.
The most common types of periodontal diseases are chronic periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis, necrotizing periodontitis and periodontitis caused by systemic disease. If they are left untreated, they can cause significant problems including destroying the bone and soft issue of the tooth and the jaw. The one issue that is surprising to most people is that there may be little or no symptoms as the disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue.
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments the periodontist may choose to perform including scaling and root planing, tissue regeneration, pocket elimination surgery, and dental implants. The exact solution is dependent on the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone.