About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is a chronic inflammatory infection that if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. When bacteria accumulates below the gum line, it triggers the systemic inflammatory signals. Over time, the inflammatory response to the bacteria can cause infection of the gum tissue and the supporting bone.  The tissue will no longer fit snuggly around the teeth.  If left untreated, the bacteria will continue to grow and multiply and cause deterioration of the tissue and bone.  This causes the teeth to loosen and leads to tooth loss.  More importantly, research suggests that periodontal disease may share a link to systemic conditions.  Recent studies indicate that periodontal infection may be the connection.  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer among others, Dr. Fortman will discuss the importance of oral health pertaining to your specific health condition.  Root exposure and a loss of bone and gum tissue and is a form of periodontal disease as well.  However, a recession is not always caused by a bacterial infection.

Gingivitis:  This is the earliest and most common form of periodontal disease.  The gum tissue is red, swollen and bleeds easily.  It is important to take this seriously. Bleeding gums are not normal.  The tissue needs attention.

Chronic Periodontitis:  This is the most destructive form of periodontal disease. There is inflammation and infection within the supporting tissue of the teeth.  This causes a pocket between the tissue and the tooth for bacteria to settle.  It may appear as if your teeth are getting longer but in reality, the tissue and bone are receding.  The progression of this disease usually occurs slowly but a rapid progression can occur as well.  Chronic periodontitis occurs more frequently in adults but can occur at any age.

Gum Recession: Recession occurs when the gum tissue that surrounds the tooth and the tooth’s roots wear or pulls back. This is a form of periodontal disease. However, it may not always be caused by bacteria. It occurs gradually and may cause tooth sensitivity.  Besides periodontal disease, a recession may be caused by aggressive brushing, inadequate home oral care, hormonal changes, and tobacco products.

Periodontitis as an indication of systemic disease:  Diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease are just a few examples of common systemic conditions that make a patient more susceptible to periodontitis.  This form of periodontitis often begins at a young age.

Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation

Signs of Periodontal Disease