Gum disease is gum disease, or is it? Infection in the gums stems from bacterial activity. Infection in the gums needs to be treated. We can say that these are general aspects of gum disease. However, there are more nuanced aspects of this condition that need to be understood if we want to avoid unnecessary damage to oral structure. Here, we discuss the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis, two gum conditions that sit on the same path.
Gingivitis is the term used to describe mild inflammation in the soft tissue around teeth. Gingivitis could be called the initial stage of gum disease. It is crucial to understand that this mild inflammation is the only phase of disease in which infection can be stopped. The reason inflammation occurs is that plaque accumulates around teeth. The underlying cause of plaque accumulation is usually insufficient oral hygiene.
Signs that you may have gingivitis include:
Early treatment of these symptoms can prevent the progression of gingivitis to periodontitis.
The signs of gingivitis may be easy to miss. This is why routine dental exams and cleanings are so important. If inflammation progresses to infection, to periodontitis, symptoms will be much more difficult to overlook. Periodontitis can be a severe condition that invades deeper gum tissue and even bone. If this occurs, teeth can become loose and need to be extracted or secured through gum surgery.
The signs of periodontitis are not much different than those we mentioned for gingivitis. The difference is that they will be more pronounced. You may notice bleeding every time you brush and floss. A bad taste in your mouth may join your bad breath. Your teeth may feel loose or uncomfortable when you chew because they are not held as securely by the gums.
Routine dental care is the best method of avoiding gum disease and the consequences of this condition. Call our Palm Beach Gardens office at (561) 627-9000 to schedule your full exam and cleaning that can be tailored to your needs.