Periodontal (Gum) Diseases


If you have gum disease, you're not alone. Many U.S. adults currently have some form of the disease. It ranges from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to serious damage to the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In the worst cases, you can lose teeth.

In gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen. They can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. You can usually reverse it with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. If you have periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

American Academy of Periodontology
This specialized organization offers information on finding a periodontist, assessing your gum disease risk and treatments to save your teeth.

MouthHealthy, American Dental Association
This website has information on a variety of topics related to dental care for patients. The topic on gum disease provides an overview of the topic, with a list of risk factors and warning signs.

Periodontal Disease, CDC
This link takes you to the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The site also has a wide range of other information related to oral health.

Types of Gum Disease and Treatment Options

Types of Gum Disease, American Academy of Periodontology
Discussion of how untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems. Links to additional information about periodontal disease such as risk factors, risk factors and symptoms.

Periodontal Procedures, American Academy of Periodontology
This link will take you to a page that discusses the procedures that periodontists use to treat patients diagnosed with a periodontal (gum) disease, including nonsurgical treatments, periodontal surgery, laser therapy, dental implants and cosmetic procedures.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
This link will take you to the article "Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments," which looks at causes and risk factors of the disease, who gets it, what can be done to prevent it and what problems can it cause elsewhere in the body. Información en Español.

Other Resources

Clinical Trials, National Institutes of Health
Clinical trials are research studies of new and promising ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease. If you want to take part in a clinical trial about periodontal disease, visit this site and type "periodontal disease" in the Search box. This will give you a list of clinical trials on gum disease for which you might be eligible.

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