Periodontal Disease

Types of Periodontal Disease

The most common forms of periodontal disease include the following.


Gingivitis is the earliest and least destructive form of the periodontal diseases. It causes the gingiva (gums) to become red, swollen and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is usually a result of inadequate oral hygiene and is reversible with professional treatment and good home care.

The tissues are inflamed and bleed easily, but no bone or attachment loss has occurred

Aggressive Periodontitis

Formerly called Juvenile Periodontitis and Rapidly Progressive Periodontitis in Young Adults, aggressive periodontitis is a form of periodontitis that occurs in younger patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. It’s features include rapid loss of the attachment between the root and surrounding tissues and destruction of the supporting bone. This form of periodontitis appears to be associated with a genetic predisposition, i.e. family history.

Chronic Periodontitis

Chronic periodontitis is the most commonly occurring form of periodontitis. It is more slowly progressing than aggressive periodontitis. Once established, it causes inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss, and either pocket formation or recession of the gingiva. It is usually diagnosed in older adults, but can occur at any age. While attachment loss and bone loss usually occurs slowly, periods of rapid progression and abscess formation can occur.

Early Periodontitis: Slight loss of bone and soft tissue attachment to the root leads to a small increase in probing (pocket) depth.
Moderate Periodontitis: progressive bone and attachment loss has led to deeper pockets, loss of bone support and tooth mobility. Recession which exposes the root may or may not be present.
Advanced Periodontitis: Severe bone and attachment loss has led to deep pockets, increased mobility and recession usually exposes part of the root surface.

Periodontitis as a Manifestation of Systemic Diseases

Periodontitis, while not caused by systemic diseases, may be exacerbated by systemic diseases that effect the immune system such as diabetes and AIDS. Evidence is also mounting that periodontitis may contribute to the pathogenesis of other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and low birth weight babies.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

An acute infection of the gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone, called Necrotizing Periodontitis, is characterized by necrosis of the infected tissue which is associated with pain, foul odor, and rapid tissue destruction. This disease is most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as AIDS (HIV infection), malnutrition and immunosuppression.