Periodontitis, periodontal disease, and gum disease all refer to the same thing, a bacterial infection of the mouth which leads to gum damage and eventual loss of teeth if not properly treated.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and usually proceeds periodontitis. A buildup of bacteria in the plaque on your teeth causes the gums to become inflamed and sore. A common symptom is that your teeth bleed easily when you are brushing them.
When discussing gingivitis vs periodontitis, the main difference is that gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is not irreversible. Although your gums might be sore, there is no permanent damage to the bone or gum tissue and with the proper treatment, your gums can be restored to perfect health.
If it is left untreated, however, gingivitis will develop into full-blown periodontitis. In sufferers of periodontitis, the gums start to recede and pull back from the teeth, leaving little spaces between the gums and teeth. These, then, become full of dirt and debris, which leads to infection, and the plaque continues to spread below the gum line.
Toxins produced by the bacteria in this plaque attack the bone of your jaw and break down the tissue holding your teeth in place. As the infection progresses, your teeth become loose and eventually fall out.
As we said, bacteria in plaque is the main cause of gingivitis and periodontal disease but other factors can also contribute, and these are:
Gingivitis can develop for some time before there are any immediately obvious symptoms, so it is important to be on the lookout for the warning signs, which are:
The symptoms of periodontitis, the more advanced stages of gum disease are:
Treatment will depend on the stage of development of the infection and the patient’s own medical history.
It is important to remember that prevention is better than cure. Good oral hygiene is your best defense against gum disease and cavities. Also, as the symptoms might not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye, you should schedule regular yearly check-ups for yourself and your family and not just visit the dentist in emergencies.
So, book an appointment with us here, at Doral Sedation Dentistry, whether you’re seeing red in the sink every time you brush or not.