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Types of Gum Disease

The word periodontal actually comes from the Greek derivation with “peri” meaning around and “odont” meaning tooth. Thus, the combination of the two roots means around the tooth. Therefore, the two anatomic parts around the tooth are the gums or gingiva and the bone. Typically, as periodontal disease is present most people are unaware of it going on. It is a silent type of infection; however, it can have dire consequences. This is initiated by the presence of bacteria. As the bacteria gets mineralized it becomes hardened and affixed to the calculus or tartar. As a response the gums many times will become inflamed, reddened, or swollen with or without bleeding. If the bacteria, tartar, or calculus persist the jawbone will react by dissolving away in order to keep a safe distance from the advancing bacterial infection. If enough bone deteriorates the tooth will begin to get loose or could even fall out in its entirety. Again, typically this is not painful and often times caught too late. Simply bacteria get around the tooth and cause the healthy gum to unzip along the tooth root. We call this the formation of a pocket. As the pocket deepens patients can’t be effective in removing the bacteria residing in the pocket. As a result, the pocket deepens and bone loss will occur as a result of the infection.
The extent of the infection and the resulting bone loss is how our Aurora and Littleton gum disease experts classify the different types of periodontal disease — also referred to as gingivitis, periodontitis, and gum disease.
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common type of gum disease. It is a result of the bacteria present in your mouth and causes the gums to be swollen, inflamed, and infected. It can be common in people of all ages. Fortunately, gingivitis does not lead to bone loss and is reversible with periodontal treatment. A common treatment would be either a professional cleaning along with good home maintenance (brushing and flossing) or with a deep cleaning, commonly referred to as scaling and root planing.
Chronic Periodontitis
Chronic periodontitis affects approximately 50-70% of the adult population, based on which study you choose to quote. Nevertheless, it is extremely common in most adults. Chronic periodontal disease, unlike gingivitis, involves the destruction of the supporting jawbone around the teeth. It can be classified as mild, moderate, and aggressive or advanced gum disease. Obviously, the more bone you lose around a tooth, the worse its prognosis for survival becomes. Additionally, the earlier periodontitis gets treated the greater the likelihood of being able to save your teeth. Many times, when diagnosing periodontal disease, our Littleton and Aurora gum disease team will mention pockets or pocket depth. The deeper the pocket, the more the bone loss. Additionally, X-rays can alert the periodontist to the severity of the bone loss. As a general rule, 0 to 3 mm of pocket depth are considered healthy, 4 mm are borderline, and 5 mm or greater is where we get concerned. Similarly to the gingivitis patient, bleeding and swollen gums can be present and suppuration or pus also can be present.
Aggressive Periodontitis
Aggressive periodontitis is a form of periodontal disease where rapid loss of gum or bone may occur. It tends to occur as the name implies in an aggressive or rapid manner. It may be related to systemic diseases or in people who smoke or others who have a family history of susceptibility of gum disease. If you suspect you have aggressive periodontal disease do not wait to get it treated. It will not self-correct. You will need the help of a periodontist near you .
Periodontal Disease and Systemic Disease
In recent years the medical community has recognized the severity of periodontal disease and its association with other systemic disease. Since periodontal disease is a main source of inflammation of the body. The medical community is recognizing gum disease as a significant risk factor to other diseases. Of particularly high correlation are heart disease, strokes, and diabetes in addition to preterm pregnancies. These are but a few but there are many others associated and related to gum disease with bacteria from the oral cavity being recognized as risk factors and the culprit in other infections.
If you have any question or concerns about the different types of periodontal disease and treatments, please ask your dentist.
Learn More About the Types of Gum Disease in Aurora or Littleton
If you have any questions or concerns about the different types of periodontal disease and their severity, please request an appointment with one of our periodontists. Our team includes Drs. Heller, Beckman, Thousand and Versman.

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Or call — 303-755-4500

  • Brenda S.Brenda S.

    Excellent experience! I had a tooth removed and implant placed during the same visit. It was the easiest dental procedure I've ever had done. Dr. Beckman is...

  • Bridget B.Bridget B.

    Wow, from the moment I walked in I felt welcome. Super nice people and caring. I am a chicken and do not like dentist anything. Doctor Heller explained...

  • Paul BeauchampPaul Beauchamp

    Dr. Dan Thousand and staff were amazing. Having gum grafting done is not a pleasant experience by any means, but I was very impressed with Dan Thousand and his staff through this whole process. Several things Dan Thousand and I discussed really resinated with me, such as how damaging smoking cigarettes is to the tissue inside my mouth, ect. Long story short, I took everything Dan Thousand said to heart and I was able to quit smoking as result of this surgery, and for me this is a very huge accomplishment. Dan and I actually celebrated 46 days of no smoking on my final follow up today. I was very pleased at the results of the surgery as I no longer have any negative areas of gum recession in my mouth. The day of the surgery was a very difficult day due to the pain, but it was very nice to receive a call from their office checking up on me to see how I was doing. The follow up phone call was very comforting. I would highly recommend Dr. Dan Thousand and his staff to anyone who ever needs to have gum grafting done. 😃

  • Sara KluhsmanSara Kluhsman

    Dr. Thousand is pure genius! He fixed a failing implant & placed a new 1 as well. I will never go anywhere else. That man preforms miracles!

  • Karen Pelling LevineKaren Pelling Levine

    Dr. Doug Heller is one of three of the doctors that make up the driving force in my efforts to save my teeth and my overall health. What started out as one broken tooth led to the possibility of my losing all of my teeth to gum disease. Panicked, I reached for a second opinion and found Dr. Heller, along with my regular Dentist & Orthodontist. I am now the proud owner of only 5 implants, as opposed to full upper and lower implants OR full dentures. Though dental procedures are hardly fun, Dr. Heller and his staff have made it a smooth process, from financial to face-changing....I couldn't be happier. 😁 You be the judge. My profile pic, there on the left, is a fine example of their handiwork.
    Double Bonus: Doorbell just rang. Beautiful plant has just arrived to cheer me in my recovery....Thank you, Dr. Heller and your wonderful Staff!

  • Jerome GilmerJerome Gilmer

    I was sent to Dr. Beckman on a referral from my dentist because of a slightly loose tooth. Dr. Beckman evaluated the situation and recommended a gum graft and bite adjustment. It is now six weeks since the procedure, and while the recovery was not painless, it was pretty much exactly as he said it would be. Upon evaluation earlier this week it was clear that the procedure was successful.

    Dr. Beckman and the staff were very nice, supportive and professional and I would highly recommend this practice to anyone needing this kind of help.

  • Tori Horton HamillTori Horton Hamill

    Dr Beckman performed a gum graft. I was nervous, but he explained everything clearly and thoroughly. The staff were very accommodating when I had to reschedule and they keep the schedule flowing on time so I was not sitting and waiting beyond the appointment time. The only downside was having to ask multiple times about the cost and what my calculated out of pocket would be. Would definitely recommend.

  • Ashley SingletaryAshley Singletary

    5 stars! Dr. Beckman and the entire office staff provide superior customer service and care. I recently had a gum graft performed and from the very first meeting I felt at ease. Dr. Beckman took his time explaining the procedure and patiently answered any questions I had. On the day of the procedure they go the extra mile to make sure you are comfortable- they use top of the line medical treatment for an effective procedure and speedy recovery. The team was very supportive and available through the entire process and even calls to check on you post procedure. I highly recommend Dr. Beckman and his team!

  • Doris BinderDoris Binder

    I needed to get some implants and Dr. Heller was recommended. Thankfully, he was absolutely wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he explained everything that needed be done and the procedure began. Now it's not an over night process, but the weeks after each step was a piece of cake. I am so happy with my implants. I had to have a tooth pulled a few weeks ago, and I don't know how he does it, but I had zero pain, no complications and I needed no pain Meds. The staff is so friendly and I highly recommend them.

  • Kenneth McCallKenneth McCall
  • Jan BernsteinJan Bernstein

    Dr. Beckman and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more professional. I highly recommend the practice to anyone in need of a periodontist.

  • Chelsy LaForceChelsy LaForce

    Dr. Heller and the rest of the team is absolutely amazing. They are super helpful through the entire process and I knew I was in great hands. Thank you so much!

  • Terry Lavitt SeiverTerry Lavitt Seiver
  • Aprille Tripler MooreAprille Tripler Moore

    Dr. Beckman and the entire staff at Periodontal Associates are amazing! Dr. Beckman performed a gum graft procedure on me and to my surprise and relief I felt no pain. Not during the procedure or post op. The entire experience from consult through my last follow up appointment was topnotch.

  • Terry SandahlTerry Sandahl

    I have been a patient of first Dr. Versman and then Dr. Heller for over 20 years. This is an amazing periodontal group! I feel so comfortable having them take care of my needs~and there have been many! Dr. Heller is so easy going and I never feel like whatever he does will fail. They have a great support staff too! All their assistants are competent and friendly, and my hygienist Michelle is the best! Love these guys and wouldn't think of going anywhere else!

  • Scott A MiddlemistScott A Middlemist

    I had a great experience with Dr Helller and his staff. The procedure was fairly quick and painless with a great outcome. I fully recommend him and his office.

  • Connie BuhlkeConnie Buhlke

    Not that I loved going to the Periodontist but if you have to, Dr. Heller and all of the staff in the office are simply the best! I wouldn't trust anyone else with my periodontal needs! Thank you for taking such great care of my mouth! You all are the best! �

  • David HeadDavid Head

    When I recently visited Dr Versman for a dental implant I was very pleased. I had been a client many years ago and remembered that Dr Versman' wonderful care. This time Dr Versman needed to place a new implant and extract one that had gone bad. His care and concern were exemplary. His staff was extremely efficient and all members in the office were always friendly and helpful. I would certainly recommend Dr Versman and his staff to anyone who needs an implant or Periodontal care. Thank you to everyone.

  • Christina StewartChristina Stewart

    I had a complicated tooth situation, with treatment options. My situation and all my options were explained in detail and all my questions answered. I had a debridement, and bone graft by Dr Beckman. He and the entire staff are welcoming, kind, compassionate and gentle. All my questions always answered and excellent communicational around. They called me the day of surgery and the day after to check on me. I am amazed, every single person here is wonderful and caring. And Dr Beckman is fantastic

  • Joan Schooler BaileyJoan Schooler Bailey

    Dr. Beckman did my third gum graph. I love the whole staff. They listen to me every time I have a question, and are very knowledgeable. I like their idea of listening to music on my cell phone while they do their magic. I recommend them all.

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