A Summary of Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)


This disease is a reversible condition of the gum tissue caused by less the adequate daily hygiene, brushing and flossing. Redness, swelling, bleeding, and tenderness of the gum tissue in localized areas or throughout the mouth characterize it. It will resolve in 7-10 days after cleaning and resumption of daily adequate brushing and flossing. Pocket depths up to 3 mm are seen initially. They will resolve to 1-2 mm. Oral rinsing with prescription Peridex will help during this recovery period.

Class I Periodontal Disease:

This disease classification is a non-reversible loss of the bony support of the teeth that must be treated. Routine cleaning and polishing is not adequate. Gingivitis is present and now bone is actively being lost. Normal pocket depths of 1-2mm are now deepening to 4mm. Some slight looseness of the teeth called mobility may begin to occur. Scaling and root planing is required to clean the teeth and the pocket. The tissue may heal and shrink to the new bone level. The teeth will look longer. Adequate daily hygiene must begin. Close follow up in the dental office should occur every 3 months.

Class II Periodontal Disease:

This disease classification is a more serious loss of the bony support of the teeth that requires more involved treatment and probably surgical intervention. Scaling and root planing on a regular 3-6 month interval are required to clean pocket depths that now are 4-6mm in depth. The teeth are probably noticeably loose to the touch and sore to chewing pressures. Bone loss is probably evident in the areas between the roots of molar teeth.

Class III Periodontal Disease:

This disease classification is the most serious loss of the bony support of the teeth. Surgical intervention and/or tooth loss is required. Pocket depths of greater than 6mm are observed. Tooth mobility is 2-3mm to the touch. Splinting of the teeth for stability is often required. Chewing is difficult and uncomfortable. Pus is noticeable in the deepest pockets. Root surfaces are probably seriously exposed and would often result in variety of uncomfortable sensitivities.