Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. Long-term
infection of the gums, bone, and other tissues that surround and support the
teeth causes periodontal disease.
Healthy gums are pink, firm, and do not bleed
Gingivitis is periodontal disease in
its mild, early stage. Symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen gums that bleed
easily when brushed. Because pain is not usually a symptom of gingivitis,
treatment may not be prompt.
is periodontal disease in its later, more serious stage. Symptoms of
periodontitis are gums pulling away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets where
bacteria can hide and cause further damage. Periodontitis can progress until it
damages the bones that support the teeth. Teeth may become loose and fall out
or need removal (extraction).
Early treatment of gum disease may prevent more severe disease,
which is harder to treat. Brushing and flossing regularly help prevent
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.