Gingivitis, gum disease, periodontal disease…what difference does it all make? All of the lingo can be a little overwhelming and quite frankly just blur together for some people. The fact is, there’s actually a very big difference between gingivitis and gum disease (technically called periodontal disease)…one that can result in the loss of your teeth.
Mild gum inflammation and small amounts of bleeding are symptoms of gingivitis. Gingivitis is when the marginal gum tissue around your teeth becomes irritated due to plaque biofilm just under the gums and between the teeth. You can compare it to a wound that isn’t cared for, and how your body’s immune system would respond with swelling and redness.
Untreated gingivitis eventually progresses into periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that involves gum tissue that becomes detached from your tooth, also causing your supporting bone to be destroyed. When gum disease treatments aren’t performed, the condition continues to worsen and will eventually cause the teeth to get loose and then fall out. The condition is also linked with systemic health diseases, due to the bacteria traveling through the bloodstream into other areas of the body, such as the heart or to an unborn infant.
Thankfully, gingivitis is completely reversible and moderate gum disease can typically be managed. Routine dental care can help you get your oral health back under control by removing the deep, calcified bacteria under your gums. See your dentist at least twice each year for preventive care and gum disease screenings.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
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