Periodontal disorders encompass a range of oral health conditions that affect the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums and bones. These disorders can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. In this article, we will explore six major periodontal disorders and their associated symptoms to help you recognize and address these issues in a timely manner.


Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and is characterized by inflammation of the gums. Common symptoms include redness, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. It is usually caused by poor oral hygiene habits that allow plaque to accumulate on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is reversible with proper dental care and regular cleanings.


Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. Symptoms include gum recession, pockets forming between teeth and gums, chronic bad breath, and loose teeth. Periodontitis can lead to irreversible damage to the supporting structures of the teeth and may require more aggressive treatments like scaling and root planing or even surgical intervention.

Gum Recession

Gum recession is a common issue where the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the tooth roots. This condition can result from aggressive tooth brushing, gum disease, or genetic factors. Symptoms include visibly receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and the appearance of longer teeth. Gum grafting may be necessary to address severe cases of gum recession.

Periodontal Abscess

A periodontal abscess is a localized collection of pus within the gums or the periodontal pockets. It often results from untreated periodontal disease and can cause severe pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. Other symptoms may include a foul taste in the mouth and fever. Treatment involves draining the abscess and addressing the underlying gum disease.

Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG)

ANUG, also known as “trench mouth,” is a severe and painful form of gingivitis. Symptoms include severe gum pain, bleeding, ulceration of the gums, and a distinct foul odor from the mouth. It can be associated with systemic symptoms like fever and malaise. ANUG often requires immediate dental treatment, including scaling, antibiotics, and improved oral hygiene practices.

Localized Aggressive Periodontitis (LAP)

Localized aggressive periodontitis is a rare but severe form of gum disease that primarily affects young individuals. It typically involves rapid bone loss and tooth mobility around specific teeth, with no significant signs of gingivitis. Symptoms may include loose teeth, pain, and the presence of deep periodontal pockets. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial to prevent further tooth loss.


Maintaining good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups are essential for preventing and addressing periodontal disorders. Recognizing the symptoms of these conditions, from gingivitis to localized aggressive periodontitis, can help individuals seek timely treatment and preserve their oral health. If you are in Seattle and experiencing any of the mentioned issues, visit Sue Vetter DDS to get required periodontal disease treatment in Seattle WA. The qualified dentists present here will try to prevent further complications and ensure a healthy smile for years to come.