If gingivitis is left untreated it may develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis has all the symptoms/signs of gingivitis but deteriorates further as plaque bacteria slides down the tooth root, underneath the gum and starts to eat away at the bone which holds the tooth in. This causes the gum to split away from the tooth and form deep pockets which may result in gum abscesses, gum shrinkage (recession) and finally loose or drifting teeth. Tooth roots will become exposed making them more susceptible to root decay and sensitivity. You are at an increased risk to gum disease if you are diabetic, smoke, are stressed or take some prescribed medications which are known to irritate gums.
Treatment of Periodontitis.
As periodontitis becomes worse it is important to establish the seriousness of the disease. Your dentist/hygienist will measure the gum pockets so the progress of deterioration of the disease can be monitored. Treatment of periodontitis involves education, enabling you to effectively clean plaque bacteria from the base of deep pockets ONCE A DAY. Then your dentist/hygienist will clean and scale the teeth and all exposed root surfaces in order to remove calculus from above and below the gum line. This calculus is rough and traps live plaque bacteria which will cause further disease. It is possible to halt the progress of periodontitis up to a point, but if too much bone is eaten away this is irreversible and will result in tooth loss.