When was the last time you were brushing or flossing your teeth and your gums began to bleed? If this happens to you repeatedly, it’s typically a sign of gum disease. This infection affects millions of people each year and targets the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. In order to restore your oral health you will be need to treat the condition before it advances.
There are two types of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease. The differences between the two are significant in that gingivitis typically precedes periodontitis. However, it’s important to note that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease.
In the early stages of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque builds up and causes the gums to become inflamed and bleed easily during brushing or flossing. Although the gums may be irritated and red, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets and no irreversible bone damage has occurred. If left untreated however, gingivitis can advance to periodontal disease, whereby the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. Gingivitis is mild compared to periodontal disease. The risk factors that increase your risk of gingivitis are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor nutrition and dietary habits
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Chronic diseases
- Not fully removing plaque buildup
- Hormonal changes
Since eliminating plaque is vital in preventing gingivitis, it’s imperative to use a mouthwash at least twice daily and an anti-gingivitis toothpaste when brushing.
Periodontitis is a chronic infection that affects the gums and bones that support the teeth. Once it’s present in the mouth, bacteria and the body’s own immune system will break down the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place.
The symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Receding gums
- Gums that bleed during or after tooth brushing
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
The treatment for periodontitis becomes more complicated as gingivitis progresses. Only your dentist and hygienist can perform periodontal treatment, which involves special dental procedures.
Dr. Ang and his staff can determine whether you have periodontitis or gingivitis with an oral exam. They will recommend treatment based on the severity of the infection. Give them a call before the infection gets beneath your gum line and causes potential tooth loss or destroys tissues, ligaments, and bones in your mouth.
At Amherst Village Dental, we’ll identify the symptoms of your gum disease and offer solutions to restore your oral health back to topnotch. Contact our office to stop gingivitis or periodontal disease from progressing further. We are ready to work hard on keeping your teeth and gums in good health.