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Is periodontal disease causing you concern?

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If you're having trouble with periodontal disease and need the services of an experienced and friendly periodontist, MyDental is your first port of call.

You may very well refer to it simply as gum disease, but the dental profession tends to refer to it as periodontal disease.

And if you’re a regular reader of dental articles, you’ll sometimes see gingivitis lumped into this general condition, but the truth is that they’re quite separate. We’ll deal with this later in this article.

But first of all, let’s get a detailed definition of what these terms mean. In general medical terms, any condition ending with ‘it is’ relates to a swelling. So appendicitis or tonsillitis mean a swelling of the appendix or the tonsils, respectively.

But what does the first part of gingivitis refer to? Well, quite simply, the ginigivae are what your dentist refers to as you gums. So taken together, the term gingivitis refers to swelling of the gums.

Periodontitis – or periodontal disease -  is a more serious condition and is one that you need to guard carefully against. The term refers to a swelling of the periodontium - this is the term that relates to the overall structures that support your tooth.

The disease is serious because it can lead to losing some of the bone-based support for your teeth. If this is not spotted in time – or if it’s diagnosed but left untreated – it can very easily end in loss of a tooth. Or even worse, loss of multiple teeth.

The period from the onset of the disease to finally losing the tooth or teeth can be a number of years, so if you visit your dentist on a regular basis, the good news is that it can be detected early and treated successfully by your dentist.


If caught at an early stage, your MyDental periodontist will be able to slow down the process of swelling – and in some cases, stop its progression completely.


The condition can strike at any age, but is particularly likely to affect patients in their late teens. Your MyDental periodontist will keep an extra vigilant eye out for the condition in our younger patients.


It’s hard to overstate the importance of gum disease in general, as it accounts for around one third of all teeth that we have to extract for our patients.


Your dentist will explain to you that there are two main types of periodontitis. The first of these is known as chronic periodontitis and is by far the most common form of the disease – it's the one that tends to spring to mind immediately when you refer to gum disease.


You might think that the term chronic means ‘very bad’, but the term actually means long-term in this content. And similarly, the term acute refers to short-term.


When a disease is referred to as chronic, it tends to suggest that the natural defences of your body are holding their own with the condition – in other words, it’s not getting particularly worse or particularly better.

The second main main type is known as aggressive periodontitis. This is a much nastier version of the disease, but thankfully very few patients tend to have this form of periodontal disease.


And if you want to keep it like that, then make sure that you're particularly vigilant for any signs of swelling of your gums or any of the structures supporting your teeth. If you feel there may be a problem, mention it to your dentist the next time you visit him. Like most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.