Family Dental, Springfield, Oregon

Understand Periodontitis, A Type of Gum Disease

Understand Periodontitis, A Type of Gum Disease

Periodontitis is an infection of the gums which demands prompt dental treatment. If it is not treated, the infection can cause tooth loss, among other health issues.

There are two types of periodontal or gum disease. One is gingivitis and the other is periodontitis. They are both caused by bacterial infections because of poor dental care. The gingivitis form of periodontal is the less severe form that causes bleeding and irritated gums. If it is not treated, it can progress into periodontitis.

Periodontitis also causes your gums to bleed and be inflamed along with mouth sores, pain in the gums, and a sour taste in your month.

Lots of people who have periodontitis only have some of the symptoms. But this does not mean that it can be left untreated. If it is left untreated, it can cause your teeth to get loose and fall out or have to be extracted.

The common types of periodontitis are aggressive, chronic, and necrotizing. The aggressive type rapidly advances and produces deterioration of the gums and jawbone.

The chronic type is the most common. The gum inflammation comes on more slowly but will eventually result in tooth loss. The necrotizing type happens with people who have a compromised immune system such as people with cancer, HIV, or malnutrition. The tissue of the gums and supportive ligaments can be severely damaged. The bone of the jaw can also be affected. Necrotizing periodontitis can cause the death of some or all of the cells in the gum tissue.

Periodontitis is related to other health conditions. It can also occur in conjunction with, and be aggravated by, other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disorders.

Warning Signs

If you have any of the following symptoms you should visit your dentist so they can evaluate and give you treatment for periodontitis.

The symptoms include: mouth pain or sores, loose teeth, gums pulling away or receding, gum bleeding that is frequent, dentures that start fitting poorly, biting or chewing difficulty, mouth abscess, bad breath, sensitive teeth, and tender, swollen, or irritated gums.

Diagnosis and Dental Care

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should visit your dentist to be evaluated and treated. A complete oral exam is usually in order to evaluated the extent of the damage to your gums, teeth, and jaw. They will check to see how well your teeth meet together. Another test is for receding gums which is done by measuring the distance between your teeth and gums with a special instrument. Another test that is often done is to take x-rays to evaluate any bone loss around your teeth due to periodontitis.

It is important to follow the care directions your dentist recommends. Not treating your periodontitis has been connected to other complications, like an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, birthing babies with low birth weight, and poor control of blood sugar for those with diabetes.

It is important to seek immediate dental care to treat periodontitis so you can preserve your teeth and potentially stay away from other more serious health conditions.


1847 Pioneer Parkway East. Springfield, OR 97477

541-746-7630 (touch to call)

Business Hours

Monday and Tuesday: 9am - 1pm. Wednesday and Thursday: 9am - 6pm.
Friday: 7am - 4pm. Saturday: Closed, Sunday: By appointment only.