When it comes to the terms used to describe oral health problems, many people do not know the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis. These are two different gum disease stages, and it's important to know what the differences are between them.
Gingivitis is basically when your gums are inflamed, which happens due to not brushing or flossing properly, which leads to more plaque being stuck in the pockets of your gums. The edges of the gums are the only part that is inflamed, with the deeper parts of the gums still in good condition.
If you do have gingivitis, know that your gums are still in a state that the damage can be reversed. By going to your dentist for a cleaning to get rid of all the plaque and tartar, and then maintaining great oral health at home, your gums can become firm and healthy once again. Ignoring these care steps will eventually lead to having periodontitis.
The main sign of periodontitis is that the gums start to pull away from your teeth, which create deep pockets underneath the gums. This can compromise the bone underneath your gums and eventually lead to bone loss, which cannot be reversed. You may have also noticed that your breath has gotten worse, that the gums feel tender, there is a lot more bleeding when you brush and floss, or that the gums are receding.
In addition to caring for your teeth with regular brushing and flossing to prevent gum disease, you should also look at your diet and how it can be contributing to gingivitis. For example, not drinking enough water or not eating enough vegetables tends to cause more plaque to build up over time.
You'll want to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, and even have them perform a deep cleaning if your gingivitis is looking bad. This is known as scaling and planing, and it is the process of removing all of the plaque that is deep within the pockets of your gum and causing the irritation and bone loss to happen. A dentist can look at the health of your gums by taking x-rays, which will show if there is any bone loss and tartar hidden where the dentist cannot easily see it.
Worried about the health of your teeth due to periodontitis or gingivitis? Visit your family dentist for a proper examination of your oral health.