Gingivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the gums, while periodontitis or gum disease means there is an actual infection in the gums. Gingivitis is often a sign that gum disease may develop.
Gingivitis is used to describe a gum inflammation that is caused by excess of plaque on the teeth. Because the symptoms aren’t necessarily painful you will not be aware that you have gingivitis. Symptoms may include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, swollen gums, or bright red gums.
Typically, you will begin to notice some sort of pain or discomfort when your gum disease progresses to periodontitis. Additionally, you may notice increased sensitivity, loosening teeth, and soreness. As your gums begin to separate from your teeth, it leaves spaces for bacteria to grow under the gum line where your toothbrush cannot reach. These periodontal bacteria deteriorate your teeth’s supporting bone structure, causing pain and eventually tooth loss.
Remember: gingivitis is reversible, while periodontitis is not. Sooner you do something to stop it, better will be the result.
You can lower your risk of developing gingivitis or periodontitis by keeping up with good oral health habits. brush and floss daily to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. Also keep up with your regular dental visits, including professional cleanings and gum evaluations. If the problem has already reached the stage of periodontitis a regular cleaning with your hygienist may not be enough to prevent tooth loss. A more invasive procedure sometimes known as a ‘deep clean’, may also have to be performed by your dentist.
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