Periodontal disease can be broken down into two types. The first type is gingivitis and the second, periodontitis. They both affect periodontal tissues.
Gingivitis is the less destructive type and it entails inflammation of the gums most commonly caused by the buildup of plaque, which is the soft material that accumulates on teeth if not brushed/flossed properly. Malnutrition, certain medications, viruses, genetic factors, trauma, and bacteria are among other causes of gingivitis.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to the more destructive form of periodontal disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis leads to loss of the bone that surrounds the teeth. If ignored, it can lead to tooth loss. A good dentist uses a probe to check for tissue damage in addition to using x-rays to look for any bone loss. Early detection of periodontal disease is very important to the health of your teeth. This is why it is recommended for everyone to see their dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.