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Types Of Periodontal Disease



Note the redness of the gum tissues around the teeth.

The mildest form of the diseases, gingivitis causes the gums to become red, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good home care.  It is caused by a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth.  This film is called plaque.  If the plaque is not removed from the teeth the bacterial toxins will irritate and inflame the gums.  If not treated the gum tissue will separate from the teeth and form a space call a pocket.  The pockets provide a home for the bacteria and if untreated the local infection will cause the bone and other supporting tissues to be destoryed.


Mild Periodontitis (The First Stage of Bone Loss)

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance and destroy the bone supporting the teeth this is known as periodontitis.  This stage of the disease is usually painless and is often overlooked.  This stage of the disease can best be detected by probing the pockets around the teeth to make sure they are within normal limits. 

Moderate-Advanced Periodontitis


Clinical Bone Loss = Increased probing depths the normal is 3 mm.        

Radiographic Evidence of Bone Loss = No bone around the roots                             

No support= increased mobility to point that extraction is treatment of choice

In the mild-stages, periodontal diseases if not treated can lead to more bone and tissue destruction. In the advanced stages there has been excessive loss of bone to the point that the teeth are loose and may have to be removed.  At this stage of the disease there can also be no pain.  Remember when it hurts it's usually to late!  Regular check-ups which include a complete gum pocket evaluation can help you never get to this stage of the disease.


Receding Gums (The Dracula Look)


Note the recession before periodontal therapy (Top Picture)

Restoration of normal gingival heights (Bottom Picture)

Receding gums, is another form of gum disease. It produces a toothy smile because the tooth tissue seal has become destroyed.  It can give you that dracula tooth fang look.  The recession exposes root surface which is more temperature sensitive and lets you know it everytime you drink something cold.  With periodontal plastic surgery the gingival levels can be restore back to the normal position on the tooth and you can once again smile and enjoy cold drinks. 




Gummy Smile (The Smile With Short Teeth)


The Short In The Tooth Look


A condition that occurs when the gingival tissue doesn't migrate to the normal position on the tooth.  It can also occur by the tissue becoming hyperplastic during orthodontic treatment.  When this occurs it is usually the result of chronic irritation from the braces and lack of home care on the part of the patient.  The teeth are not totally visible resulting in an unesthetic appearance.  This condition makes it more difficult to do daily home care and leads to a higher incidence of other forms of periodontal disease.



Treatment of Gummy Smile (The More Teeth The Better The Esthetics)



The treatment for a gummy smile is to remove and contour the excessive gum tissue.  Not only is your smile more esthetic because you are now showing the proper amount of tooth structure but you are now able to practice more effective home care.  The excessive pocketing has been corrected allowing for complete sulcular cleaning.


Gummy smile because of excessive tissue
Proper tissue contours for maximum esthetics



Gummy Smile Incomplete Passive Eruption


Only a slight modification was required to get the esthetic result she wanted. 

A condition that occurs when the gingival tissue does not migrate to the normal position on the tooth. This leaves a short tooth and a gummy smile.  It is like have a beautiful picture in a lousy picture frame.  No matter how nice the picture is your eyes are always drawn to the frame.  So no matter how straight or white your teeth are if the gum tissue is at the wrong level or shape your smile is not going to be what it could.  Your esthetics will always be compromised.


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