People with gum problems are often unsure about whether they have gingivitis or periodontitis. The confusion stems from the fact that the two dental issues are very closely related. Gingivitis usually comes ahead of periodontitis, but having gingivitis will not always lead to periodontitis.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is the earliest stage of gum disease. Plaque, which is the colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums, is the direct cause of gingivitis. In its early development, gingivitis does not affect the bone and connective tissue that keep the tooth in place, making it very easy to treat.
The symptoms of gingivitis include red, tender, and swollen gums that are prone to bleeding, especially when brushing your teeth. You will also notice the recession or pulling away of the gums from the teeth when you have gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause the formation of pockets between the gums and the teeth, which could be entry points for bacteria. The pockets could trap plaque and food debris.
Good oral hygiene is the key to the prevention of gingivitis. If you live in Weber County and begin to notice any signs of gum inflammation, consult a Weber County family dentist for an appointment.
Periodontitis refers to the inflammation in the area around the tooth. It is a serious infection of the gums that causes damage to the soft tissue and the bone that provide support to the tooth. Periodontitis affects the periodontium, the tissues around the tooth that provide support. The alveolar bone surrounding the tooth is lost slowly and progressively in patients with periodontitis. The area around the tooth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which causes inflammation.
If not treated, periodontitis could lead to tooth loss and an increased risk of health problems such as stroke and heart attack. Bacterial plaque is the most common cause of periodontitis.
Both gingivitis and periodontitis could be avoided through healthy dental practices and habits. If you suspect that your child has symptoms of either condition, schedule an appointment with a Weber County kids dentist.