Types of Gum Disease

Posted on: 24 April 2015

One of the last things you ever want your dentist to tell you is that you have gum disease. This is a serious issue, and once it gets to a certain point, treatment is difficult and tooth loss may be inevitable. If caught early enough though, it can be treated. There are two types of gum disease you need to know about: gingivitis and periodontitis.


This is basically the first stage of gum disease. If you make regular visits to your dentist, he or she will likely be able to diagnose it early and treat it. There are several things that can cause gingivitis, including illnesses such as diabetes, smoking, genetics, stress, poor diet, puberty, pregnancy, drug abuse, HIV, some medications, and smoking. Symptoms to look for include red and swollen gums. Another symptom is when your gums bleed after brushing your teeth. This is not because you have brushed too hard or need a softer tooth brush. If you notice bleeding gums, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. Gingivitis can be reversed with proper dental care and by following a proper oral hygiene program at home.


If you have gingivitis and do not have it treated, it will likely lead to periodontitis. The plaque will get beneath the gum line and cause bacteria to grow, and periodontitis will occur, not to mention infections. The tissues and bones in the mouth that help to support your teeth will eventually break down, and this is irreversible. The gums will pull away from your teeth, and eventually the gum tissue and dental bone are damaged beyond repair. Tooth loss is likely if the problem reaches this stage.

The two most common types of periodontitis are:

  • Aggressive – This happens to people who are healthy in every other way, and one of the symptoms is a fast loss of gum attachment and damage to bones.
  • Chronic – The tissues that support the teeth will become inflamed, and there will be progressive loss of bone and gums, which can be a slow process with chronic periodontitis. This is the most common type of periodontitis. While it is more common in adults, this type of gum disease can happen to anyone, no matter what their age if they aren't properly taking care of their teeth.

There is also what is known as necrotizing periodontitis, which is an infection that is identified by the necrosis or lesions of tissues, ligament, and bone. This type of periodontitis is common in those who have HIV, immunosuppression, and poor diets. Periodontitis can also be a result of a systemic disease such as respiratory or heart disease. For more information, contact Denture Doctor.