Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the developing world. Also known as gum disease and periodontitis, it is a serious, progressive disease that harms the jawbone and gum tissue. Toxins in plaque attack the gingival tissue around the teeth, and when these toxins are allowed to build up, they become embedded in the gum, rapidly breeding and spreading and causing infection.

Left untreated, the infection causes irritation and inflammation between the gums and teeth. The gums recede as your body tries to fight off the infection, and the pockets between the teeth deepen. At this point, the jawbone tissue will be so weakened that teeth become unstable and fall out.

Periodontal disease comes in many forms and each variety requires immediate treatment by a Brooklyn periodontist.

Different Types of Periodontal Disease

These are the most common types of periodontal disease and how they are treated:


Toxins found in built-up plaque lead to the development of gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontitis or gum disease. Those most at risk are women taking birth control pills, pregnant women, steroid users, people with uncontrolled diabetes, and people who use blood pressure or seizure medication.

Gingivitis can be easily treated and reversed by a combination of professional and at-home care. Medicated mouthwashes and antibiotics can be used to kill harmful bacteria in the mouth and promote healthy gums. Your dentist can also perform deep scaling and root planing procedures that remove harmful debris from pockets in the gum.

Chronic Periodontal Disease

Chronic periodontal disease is the most common form of periodontal disease and is most frequent in people older than 45. Teeth seeming to gradually grow in length is a symptom, but really, the teeth aren't changing at all. Rather, the gums are recessing. Other symptoms include progressive destruction of the gingival and bone tissue as well as inflammation below the gum line.

Supportive tissue in the mouth cannot be rebuilt, so some effects of chronic periodontal disease are nonreversible. However, dentists can stop the progression of the disease with antimicrobial treatments combined with root planing and scaling procedures.

Aggressive Periodontal Disease

This disease appears the same as chronic periodontal disease but progresses much faster. Bone tissue and gum attachment are rapidly weakened and lost, and familial aggregation takes place. People with a family history of periodontitis, or who smoke, are more at risk of developing aggressive periodontal disease.

Treatment is the same as chronic periodontal disease, but more often requires surgical intervention. Using root planning, scaling, and antimicrobial treatments, the Brooklyn dentist, Dr. Shahin, can halt the progression of this disease. Laser procedures can also be used to save bone and tissue.

Periodontal Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions

In some cases, periodontal disease can arise even when there is very little plaque on the teeth. Certain medical conditions accelerate and intensify the effects of plaque and toxins in the mouth, leading to periodontal disease. This is most common in people with underlying conditions, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.

To treat this type of disease, the underlying cause of periodontitis must be managed first. Then, the dentist will use the same treatments for chronic and progressive periodontal disease.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

This type of disease is characterized by the death, or necrosis, of gingival tissue, the alveolar bone, and the periodontal ligament. Those with HIV, chronic stress, malnutrition, immunosuppression, or who choose to smoke will be affected by this form of rapidly worsening periodontitis.

Necrotizing periodontal disease is the rarest form of periodontitis but is the most serious form. Since it is associated with other diseases, those must be managed as well as periodontal disease. Dentists will consult a physician before treatment and then will use antibiotics, root planing, scaling, fungicidal medicines, and medicated mouthwash to treat this disease.

To express your questions or concerns about the types of periodontal disease and their treatments, contact our dental office, Brooklyn Dentist. Our Brooklyn dental hygienists are happy to help patients in Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn however they can.