At Periodontics Associates, we know gums inside and out. With years of experience and advanced technology, we carefully evaluate each patient to determine the risk factors, symptoms, and appropriate treatment for both chronic and aggressive gum disease.Understanding the disease allows you to make informed decisions about this very important aspect of your overall health. Drs. Comeaux and Pearson discuss the causes of gum disease and why you should also see a professional for a diagnosis.
Similarities Make Self-Diagnosis Difficult
Many patients who experience symptoms of periodontal disease try to explain them away, believing that a diligent oral hygiene regimen can reverse the effects. Unfortunately, this approach does not address the unique characteristics of its chronic and aggressive forms. The similarities between the two types tend to be those which are not immediately apparent to the average person, namely the symptoms. These include:
- Bleeding and tenderness while brushing and flossing
- A red, inflamed appearance
- Persistent halitosis (bad breath) or a bad taste in the mouth
Patients who self-diagnose gum disease typically treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. In many cases, the disease continues to progress, resulting in the loss of bone and one or more teeth. Shared risk factors include tobacco use and poor oral hygiene.
Chronic Gum Disease Destroys Slowly and Steadily
Of the two forms of gum disease – Gingivitus and Periodontitis – the latter, more chronic type of gum disease is more common. Although attachment and bone loss occur more slowly than in aggressive gum disease, progression may become more rapid over time. We see chronic periodontitis more frequently in adult patients, although it can affect all ages. In most cases, adopting a more stringent oral hygiene regimen produces improvements, although scaling and surgical intervention are sometimes required.
Aggressive Gum Disease Calls for Aggressive Treatment
Patients with aggressive gum disease experience more severe loss of bone and tissue, often leading to tooth loss at an early age. Interestingly, aggressive gum disease cycles through periods of activity and inactivity. As a result, we see many patients who mistake inactive periods as indication that the gums have healed themselves. Active periods may become increasingly destructive with each cycle, and regular brushing and flossing may not be sufficient to arrest progression. Average age of onset for aggressive periodontitis is much lower than that of chronic periodontitis. With both forms, however, people in all age groups can be affected.
Have you experienced symptoms of periodontal disease? As with many health issues, early intervention results in more favorable treatment outcomes. To schedule an appointment, contact our Lafayette office at 337-989-0267. For an appointment at out Opelousas office, please call toll-free 1-800-821-6503.