On December 7th, 2014, posted in: Dental News, Latest News by 0 Comment

Gingivitis Vs. Gum Disease

80% of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. The infection and chronic swelling of the gums and surrounding tissue is referred to as periodontal disease or gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis are different types of gum disease.

The early stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. Without regular teeth cleanings, your gums may bleed more and gingivitis will continue to spread from the gums to the bone and ligaments supporting the teeth. The destruction of tissues, bone, and ligaments can lead to a gum abscess, which is a collection of swelling and pus in the gums. The teeth could possibly become loose and cause gum recession, increasing the spaces in between your teeth. To treat gingivitis, Dr. Dellinger and his staff will clean your teeth to remove plaque, the sticky bacteria that forms a film on the teeth, and tartar, hardened plaque, and prescribe special mouthwashes to eliminate the bacteria. Daily brushing and flossing your teeth can also help with the treatment of gingivitis.

If gingivitis is not treated early, gum disease could develop in a few weeks. The principle perpetrator of gum disease is plaque. When plaque is not removed daily by proper brushing and flossing, the plaque can become tartar, also known as calculus. The bacteria in plaque releases toxins that can irritate the gums and create periodontal pockets. These pockets can extend deeper with the progression of the disease and the bacteria can lead to the destruction of the bone that holds the tooth in place. Due to lack of bone support, the tooth will either fall out or needs to be extracted.

What Are The Warning Signs of Gum Disease?

Common symptoms among those with gum disease include:

  • red, swollen, or tender gums
  • bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • loose or separating teeth
  • mouth sores
  • pus between the gum and tooth
  • gums that pull away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath
  • a change in the way the teeth touch together
  • a change in the way a denture fits

Patients may not experience any discomfort until the disease has progressed so that the tooth will be beyond saving.

The Treatment Plan:

It is absolutely crucial for patients to have dental exams frequently to treat any existing gum disease before it advances. If gum disease is treated early, a cleaning referred to as scaling and root planning can remove plaque and tartar that has built around the tooth. Dr. Dellinger and his staff want your teeth and gums to be healthy. They don’t want you to contribute to the gum disease statistic!

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