Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth and it is caused by bacteria in plaque. There are two main forms of gum disease; Gingivitis and a more severe form called Periodontitis. Gingivitis is recognised when the gums become red and swollen and if the plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth the disease can progress into Periodontitis. This later and more serious condition causes the gum to peel away from the plaque and a ‘pocket’ forms. These pockets can harbour more bacteria leading to more inflammation and if not treated, the bones and tissue that support the teeth can be eaten away. When this happens, Teeth may become loose and may need to be removed. You can find out more about Gingivitis and Peridontitis by reading a full set of Questions and Answers here.
Peri-implant gum disease is specifically related to implants, and presents as Mucositis and a later stage called Peri-implantitis. Mucositis is inflammation of the soft tissues around implants but it is usually reversible with simple home cleaning methods and professional scaling by our hygienist. However, if left unaddressed it can lead to Peri-implantitis which follows the same path as Periodontitis with bacteria multiplying in the pockets, and eating away at the bone and tissue supporting the implant.