Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis: What’s the difference?
Gingivitis is the pre-curser to Periodontitis (gum disease). When Gingivitis first occurs the bacteria from the plaque build-up in your teeth causes your gums to inflame and bleed when you are brushing your teeth. In this early stage your teeth have not dis-lodged from the gum and there is no tissue damage or irreversible bone loss.
However, if this stage is left untreated, it turns into periodontitis. Here the disease becomes more serious as the inside layer of your gum and bone pull away from your teeth leaving an open pocket. It is in this pocket that your mouth collects debris and in turn becomes infected. As this continues to develop more bone and gum tissue are destroyed and the pocket becomes deeper, eventually leading to your teeth loosening and in some cases falling out.
What are the symptoms of Gum Disease?
Even into the later stages periodontal disease you may show little to no obvious signs. If however you do experience any of the following symptoms please visit your dentist as you may be showing signs of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums after and during brushing your teeth
- Tender, red or swollen gums
- Bad breath or experiencing bad taste in your mouth
- Loosing or movement in your teeth
- Receding gums
What are the causes and preventions of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is often referred to as a ‘silent’ disease because people tend to overlook the symptoms. If left untreated Periodontitis can turn into a very serious condition, resulting in tooth loss. However with preventive measures and correct treatment the disease can be controlled.
One of the main causes of gum disease is through inadequate oral hygiene care. It is important that you brush your teeth gently but thoroughly twice a day and floss daily. It is also important to visit a dental hygienist at least twice a year, dependent on the health of your gums and commitment to your oral hygiene programme.