Periodontal disease is among the most common diseases affecting Americans today. There are several different stages based on severity.
Gingivitis is characterized by gum inflammation without bone loss. With proper oral hygiene and non-invasive treatment, gingivitis is totally reversible.
Periodontitis is gum inflammation with bone loss and the presence of periodontal pocketing. While bone that is lost does not grow back, minimally invasive periodontal treatment and good oral hygiene may halt the progress of the disease and may limit the consequences of early periodontitis.
Advanced periodontitis is indicated by the presence of significant periodontal pocketing and severe bone loss. Symptoms may include inflamed gingiva, bleeding gums, tooth mobility, the presence of tartar and calculus below the level of the gum, bad breath and tooth pain.
Advanced periodontitis requires extensive treatment which may include laser periodontal therapy or periodontal surgery and bone and gum grafting. It is absolutely essential not only to treat the disease process but to improve home care and to reduce any causative factors which includes smoking and poor oral hygiene.
Left untreated, advanced periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss with severe oral and occlusal consequences.