Periodontitis and Gingivitis, these are some of the most challenging words that you don’t want to hear coming from your dentist. Hearing these words is enough to get anyone nervous and imagine a series of dental procedures that will follow your upcoming dental appointments. However, many are not knowledgeable of the differences between these two serious dental diseases.
In this article, we will provide you with an in-depth explanation of periodontitis vs gingivitis. When it comes to conditions like this, it is best to find an experienced dental team to help you with your oral needs. Let us take a step further into knowing the differences of each disease as well as how to identify which is which.
Periodontitis vs Gingivitis: An Overview
Gingivitis or gum inflammation is usually a precursor for periodontitis, which is one of the leading reasons for tooth loss in adults. This means that gingivitis is an earlier stage for gum disease and can either be progressive or not. Gingivitis is still reversible, whereas periodontitis is not.
Gum disease begins with the bacterial growth within your gum tissue and mouth due to poor oral hygiene. When not treated early, it could lead to the permanent destruction of the tissues that support the teeth and may end up with tooth loss.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the most popular sign that indicates the presence of gum disease. During its early stages, plaque builds up in unreachable areas between your teeth, containing bacteria that cause inflammation. The accumulated plaque then causes gum irritation and bleeding. The good news is that your teeth remain firmly planted on your gumline and may still get recovered.
Those who have gingivitis may experience swollen, inflamed gums or gums that bleed easily when brushing. Since gingivitis is considered one of the mildest forms and early stages of gum disease, it is still treatable. There are no irreversible damages on your bone, and proper treatment and care can pause progression.
However, the major concern comes when gingivitis is left untreated. Your overall dental health will degenerate as gingivitis can progress into an irreversible stage called periodontitis. In order to avoid this from happening, it is important to seek immediate dental attention once you’ve noticed clear signs of gingivitis.
Aside from dental procedures, you can help reverse gingivitis and prevent it from recurring by avoiding poor oral hygiene. Practice routine habits such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, using mouthwash, and regular visits to your dentist.
What is Periodontitis?
As your gum disease develops, periodontitis occurs. This is a serious infection that can permanently damage your jawbone and gums. Pockets filled with bacteria and plaque will form on your gum’s inner layer and bone as they simultaneously begin to pull away from your teeth.
The most common symptoms for periodontitis are similar to gingivitis, such as bleeding gums, the painful sensation when chewing, swollen and inflamed gum line, receding gums, and the presence of clear pockets. When these occur, you must go to your dentist as soon as possible.
The pockets are small spaces that you can see, forming between your teeth and gums. Once these pockets become infected, your immune system will try to fight off the bacteria. However, plaque spreads fast and can grow below your gum line. It teams up with some of our enzymes and can help progress the breakdown of bone and other collective tissues that support the teeth.
As the pockets deepen, more damage is done to gum tissues and bones, which are non-reversible. During this advanced stage, the tooth loses its support and can suddenly fall off due to the loss of support.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
To prevent the occurrence of gum disease, it is important to focus on why gum disease is present in the first place- and that is the presence of plaque. You can control plaque in several ways:
- Practise good oral hygiene
- Regular visits and cleaning with your dentist
- Antibacterial mouth rinse
- Stop smoking and other tobacco products.
- Maintain a healthy diet full of vitamins.
- Reduce or avoid caffeine intake.
- Avoid being stressed
- Resist grinding and clenching your teeth
- Follow your dentist’s advice.
Periodontitis and Gingivitis Treatment and Expert Care
Are you wondering if you are experiencing gum disease? Find a dentist using innovative dental techniques to provide faster, safer, and more convenient oral procedures and get the peace of mind that your oral health is taken care of.