photograph showing periodontitis

Periodontal Disease


Q1. What is periodontal disease?

Answer: Periodontal disease is inflammation of the gingivae and the supporting structure of the teeth- the periodontal ligament, the cementum and the alveolar bone.

Q2. What are the common forms of the periodontal disease?

Answer: The most common forms of periodontal disease present as chronic conditions. There are two major forms of chronic periodontal diseases:

  1. Plaque induced gingivitis
  2. Periodontitis.
photograph showing periodontitis
Periodontitis: You can clearly see the spontaneous gum bleed. The calculus deposits are present in the receded gingivae.

Periodontitis has two major variations

  1. Chronic periodontitis
  2. Aaggressive periodontitis

Acute forms of periodontal disease include

  1. Acute ulcerative gingivitis
  2. Periodontal abscess

Q3. What are the causes of periodontal disease?

Answer: Periodontal disease is caused by dental plaque.

Dental plaque is a complex bio-film of microorganisms and their by-products that builds up on the teeth surface.

Plaque can calcify to become calculus.

The accumulation of plaque and calculus is associated with poor oral hygiene, that is, the teeth have not been cleaned thoroughly and/or often enough.

Q4. What are the different stages of periodontal disease?

Answer: In the early stage of periodontal disease, bacteria in plaque cause inflammation of the gingivae. This inflammatory condition of gingivae is known as gingivitis.

In some patients, untreated gingivitis progresses to a more advanced stage of periodontal disease called “periodontitis”.

Periodontitis may result in loss of the bone and the tissue that support the teeth.

As gingivitis progress, periodontal pockets are formed, and the gingivae may recede from the teeth.

As a result of damage to the supporting tissues, the teeth can become loose and may eventually exfoliate or require extraction.

Q5. How can periodontal disease be treated?

Gingivitis can usually be treated successfully by removal of the plaque and calculus which is to be followed by thorough and regular oral hygiene practices.

Read on Gingivitis

Article written by Dr. Ajai Singh

Ref: Therapeutic guidelines 2008