Types of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease (also known as gingivitis, periodontitis, and gum disease) is a progressive ailment which attacks the gum and supporting bone of the teeth. You usually do not feel it, but if the condition is left untreated, periodontal disease can result in loose, unstable teeth, and even tooth loss. Periodontal disease is, in fact, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the developed world and should be treated as early as possible!

Periodontal disease begins when the toxins found in plaque start to attack the soft or gum tissue surrounding the teeth. This bacteria embeds itself in the gum and rapidly breeds, causing a bacterial infection. As the infection progresses, it starts to burrow deeper into the tissue causing inflammation or irritation between the teeth and gums, usually without any feeling. The response of the body is to destroy the infected tissue, which is why the gums may recede. The resulting pockets between the teeth and gum deepen and, if no treatment is sought, the tissue which makes up the jawbone also deteriorates causing unstable teeth and tooth loss.

Types of Periodontal Disease

There are many different varieties of periodontal disease, and many ways in which these variations manifest themselves. All require immediate treatment by a periodontist to halt the progression and save the gum tissue and bone. Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease along with the treatments typically performed to correct them:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of periodontitis. It is caused by the toxins in plaque and leads to periodontal disease. People at increased risk of developing gingivitis include pregnant women, women taking birth control pills, people with uncontrolled diabetes, steroid users and people who control seizures and blood pressure using medication.

Treatment – Gingivitis is easily reversible using a solid combination of home care and professional cleaning. The dentist may perform root planning and deep scaling procedures to cleanse the pockets of debris. A combination of antibiotics and medicated mouthwashes may be used to kill any remaining bacteria and promote the good healing of the pockets.

Chronic Periodontal Disease

Chronic periodontal disease is the most common form of the disease and occurs much more frequently in people over 45. Chronic periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation below the gum line and the progressive destruction of the gum and bone tissue. It may appear that the teeth are gradually growing in length, but in actuality, the gums are gradually receding.

Treatment: Unfortunately unlike gingivitis, chronic periodontal disease frequently cannot be completely reversed because the supportive bone cannot be rebuilt. However, the periodontist can halt the progression of the disease using scaling and root planing procedures in combination with laser treatments. If necessary, the periodontist can perform surgical treatments such as pocket reduction surgery and also tissue grafts to strengthen and regrow the bone and gum tissue.

Aggressive Periodontal Disease

Aggressive periodontal disease is characterized by the rapid loss of gum attachment and the rapid loss of bone tissue. The disease itself is essentially the same as chronic periodontitis but the progression is much faster. Smokers and those with a family history of this disease are at an increased risk of developing aggressive periodontitis.

Treatment – The treatments for aggressive periodontal disease are the same as those for chronic periodontal disease, but aggressive periodontal disease sufferers are far more likely to require a surgical correction. This form of the disease is harder to halt and treat, but the dentist may perform scaling, root planing, antimicrobial, and in some cases laser procedures in an attempt to save valuable tissue and bone.

Periodontal Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions

Periodontal disease can be a symptom of a disease or condition affecting the rest of the body. Depending on the underlying condition, the disease can behave like aggressive periodontal disease, working quickly to destroy tissue. Heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease are the most common cofactors, though there are many others. Even in cases where little plaque coats the teeth, many medical conditions intensify and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease.

Treatment: Initially, the medical condition which contributed to the onset of periodontal disease must be controlled. The dentist will halt the progression of the disease using the same treatments used for controlling aggressive and chronic periodontal disease.

If you have any question or concerns about the different types of periodontal disease and treatments, please ask your dentist.

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  • Silke SancaktarSilke Sancaktar

    I needed an implant on one of my rear molars, and Dr. Thousand and his team did the implant work at the Aurora office. I had to do the procedure with minimal sedation due to the fact that I had to drive myself back to work after the procedure. Despite this, there was minimal pain and discomfort, and everyone did an incredible job. He's very good about telling you what he's doing and is very detail-oriented. He is never dismissive and always takes time to answer questions.

    After everything healed up I went to my regular dentist to have the crown installed. After the crown placement I had a terrible headache and toothache for a week before my regular dentist would see me again to adjust the crown. However, even after she made some adjustments I was still in pain the next day.

    I didn’t know what else to do so I reached back out to Dr. Thousand for help even though he wasn’t responsible for the crown. Knowing that I was in acute pain they were able to get me in the same day at the Littleton office. Turns out there were some major defects on the crown that my dentist had overlooked that contributed to the acute pain, and would have likely resulted in infection down the road. Dr. Thousand spent almost an hour working with me and modifying the crown for temporary use so that I could have it placed back over the implant while a new crown is made.

    He didn’t need to do this since this wasn’t a mistake attributable to his office, but he and his team went above and beyond, and didn’t even charge me for the work. I had been in so much pain I could barely focus, and so this help meant so much to me because I could now function again. This was at the end of their day so I’m sure it meant a later day for everyone, but I can’t thank you all enough for giving me that relief. We’ll certainly be coming here for future dental issues, and referring Dr. Thousand and his team to friends.

  • Nina JasonNina Jason

    We have been going to Periodontal Associates for 27+ years. We see Dr. Heller and he is great. I have had bone replacement surgery and continue to see the practice for check ups every six months. Great caring group of staff, and hygienists as well. Wouldn't go anywhere else.

  • Daniel J KlaimanDaniel J Klaiman

    Dr. Eric Beckman and the entire staff of Periodontal Associates provide excellent and compassionate care for all of your Periodontal and Implant needs. I highly recommend them.

  • Floyd VissatFloyd Vissat

    Had 2 molars extracted within 2 years. No discomfort during and after the procedure. Healing went well.
    Friendly staff

  • Zachary SpeerZachary Speer

    I had a great experience for my periodontal surgery and recovery wasn’t as bad as I thought. The team at periodontal associates were very caring and answered any questions during my recovery process.

  • 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...

  • Melissa H.Melissa H.

    Let's be honest here - there is nothing fun about having gum surgery. However, the staff and Dr. Heller were as good as it gets with regard to my treatment....

  • 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 AndersonAshley Anderson

    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!

  • Holly DeLuise BodineHolly DeLuise Bodine

    I have some complicated dental issues but Dr. Heller and his team have handled them very well, and as painlessly as is possible. Dr. Heller explains things very thoroughly!

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