What is the Difference Between Periodontitis and Gingivitis?

It’s important to understand what is the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis because they can lead to tooth loss and an emergency visit to McGlone Dental Care in Denver.

Gingivitis is gum inflammation and if left untreated can progress to periodontitis known as gum disease. Gum disease is the leader cause of tooth loss in adults.

Gingivitis is bacteria in plaque which builds up and can cause the gums to be irritated, inflamed, and bleed. If gingivitis is not treated it can progress to periodontitis which is when the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets.

These pockets then collect debris and get infected, producing bacteria as the plaque spreads and gets under the gum line. The bacteria produces toxins and poisons, and it starts to break down the bone and tissue that keep the teeth in place. Left untreated, the pockets can deepen, and more gum tissue and bone are lost. The teeth become loose and often, tooth loss may occur.

Although plaque is the major cause of gum disease, other things can contribute to it. Some of those are hormonal changes, illnesses, smoking, bad oral hygiene, and family history.

According to WebMD, you may not even know you have gum disease, that’s why it’s important to have regular visits to the dentist. There are some symptoms you can look for, including,

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing;
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums;
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth;
  • Receding gums;
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums;
  • Loose or shifting teeth;
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together when you bite down or fit in partial dentures.

At McGlone Dental Care in Denver, we suggest regular dental exams so the dentist can check for bleeding gums, swelling, firmness, pocket depth; teeth movement, sensitivity, and alignment. Gum disease can be treated with therapies that control bacterial growth and possibly surgery to help restore the gums. Plaque control is very important and why visiting a dentist twice a year is so crucial, along with daily brushing, antibacterial rinses, and flossing.

There are some things you can do besides caring for your teeth, including, stopping smoking, reducing stress, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding clenching or grinding your teeth. Despite everything you do, the American Academy of Periodontology reports that up to 30% of Americans may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. If you know members of your family have had gum disease; you may want to increase your dental check-ups, cleanings, and treatment to prevent gum disease.

It’s important to understand what is the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis because they can lead to tooth loss and even worse, gum disease can contribute to other serious health conditions like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.