In some people gingivitis can develop into a condition called periodontitis. This is where the inflammation now starts to affect the tissues around the root of the tooth leading to loss of the bone support for the tooth. As the gums shrink back, roots are more exposed raising the risks of sensitivity and decay. You may also notice the teeth becoming loose. However, in some cases there are no obvious signs so it is important to have your teeth and gums checked regularly.
Left untreated, the teeth will eventually become so loose that extractions are the only option.
Treatment is largely about stabilising the loss, preventing it getting any worse. A large part of this is down to the commitment of the patient to enhanced oral hygiene measures, flossing, interdental brushes and good brushing.
Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis
This condition is characterised by a grey appearance on the tips of the papillae. These are the normally triangular bits of gum between the teeth. Often there is a bad taste and foul smell as well. Typically it occurs in smokers. It is important to treat quickly since the loss of gum around the teeth is often permanent, however, it responds well to antibiotics.