Periodontal Disease: Diagnosis and Classification

Periodontal disease or gum disease is an issue that is commonly faced by people around the world. If you have ever heard of anyone complaining about loose or sensitive teeth on a regular basis, high chances are that they have some form of periodontal disease.

Most forms of periodontal disease occur because of neglecting dental health. A sticky substance called plaque develops inside the mouth and is the main culprit behind gum diseases. Ignoring dental health needs can result in the buildup of plaque and tartar, which eat into the gums and leave vast pockets of space for bacteria to develop. This buildup of bacteria turns into an infection sooner or later, and that’s when you start encountering problems.

Luckily, advancements in the medical field thanks to many a pharmaceutical company in New York have made it possible to diagnose periodontal problems. Successful diagnosis involves the sufferer describing his symptoms, upon which medical professionals conduct a range of tests to determine the exact problem.

The Symptoms

There are certain symptoms that are experienced by sufferers of gum disease. However, the following symptoms may not always indicate a serious problem:

  • Swollen gums with a red tinge
  • Bleeding gums
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Loose and sensitive teeth
  • Gums recede, resulting in the teeth appearing longer
  • Problems experienced while chewing
  • Pus between gums and teeth

While the aforementioned problems don’t always indicate a serious gum disorder, you should visit a dentist as soon as you notice any of them, as periodontal disease is easier to reverse if diagnosed at an early stage.


The severity of a gum disorder is diagnosed mainly through two methods. The basic purpose is to understand the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth.

Measuring Pocket Depth with an Instrument:
As plaque builds up and the resulting acid eats into the teeth and gums, pockets of space appear between the two. The pocket depth is identified with the help of a metal probe, which is inserted below the gum line. A pocket depth in the range of 1-3 mm is considered normal. However, people with pocket depths of more than 5 mm may have periodontal disease.

Dental X-Rays:
Once the pocket depth has been identified and your dentist sees it as a problem, x-rays are performed to identify any kind of bone loss. Bone loss is generally a sign of an advanced stage of periodontitis.


Depending on what your age and symptoms are, you may be diagnosed with one of the following forms of periodontal disease:

Recognized as the mildest form of periodontal disease, gingivitis is indicative of inflamed gum tissues. Leaving it untreated increases the risk of developing serious periodontal problems in the future. Diabetics, pregnant women, and steroid users face increased risks of developing gingivitis.

Chronic Periodontal Disease:
Once gingivitis develops into a full-blown periodontal disease, it is known as chronic periodontal disease. The gum and bone tissues worsen at a steady pace, and this is generally associated with people over the age of 40. The receding gums and teeth appearing longer are classic signs of chronic periodontal disease.

Aggressive Periodontal Disease:
With almost the same problems as chronic periodontal disease, aggressive periodontal disease involves a rapid worsening of symptoms. Loss of bone and tissue attachment is considerably faster, and this form of gum disease is associated with diabetics and smokers.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease:
People with existing medical conditions like chronic stress, HIV, immunosuppression, and malnutrition are at risk of developing necrotizing periodontal disease, which involves tissue death and rapid destruction of bones between teeth.

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