More than half the adult population in America suffer from some form of gum (periodontal) disease, which includes gingivitis and periodontitis. One of the ways to combat gum disease is to be better educated about the differences between the two stages. Therefore, you can be better equipped to protect your teeth and gums. As you continue reading, your dentist in Clintonville provides a detailed explanation.
What is Gingivitis?
Throughout the day, oral bacteria gather inside your mouth and contribute to the formation of plaque. The sticky substance starts to accumulate in even greater abundance when you eat or drink any beverage other than water. If there is dental negligence, plaque can eventually sink beneath the gum line to cause germ pockets to form. This is considered the first stage of gum disease, which is referred to as gingivitis.
Here are some of the changes you may notice in your gums:
- Swelling or puffiness
The good news is that by seeking dental care the moment you recognize any of the above symptoms, there is a chance to make improvements before you suffer permanent damage. In many cases, a dental cleaning can do wonders, as well as committing to brushing and flossing on a consistent basis.
What is Periodontitis?
Unfortunately, oral bacteria will not go away on their own. Over time, untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.
At this stage of gum disease, there is usually permanent damage to the ligaments and other tissue that hold your teeth in place. The more severe cases can result in diminished jawbone mass, gum recession and tooth loss.
Periodontitis can be treated in one of the following three ways:
- Scaling – Special dental tools are used to remove plaque and tarter buildup, as well as damaged tissue.
- Root Planing – The roots are smoothed to help prevent future accumulations.
- Antibiotics – Oral or topical antibiotics may be needed to stop the growth of bacteria beneath the gum line.
For more severe cases, gum surgery may be required to rehabilitate your gums.
How to Prevent Gingivitis and Periodontitis
The best way to treat any form of gum disease is to prevent it from happening. Here are some steps you can take, immediately:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at least two times a day.
- Floss between each tooth and around the gum line at least once a day.
- Visit your dentist semi-annually for a cleaning and checkup.
- Abstain from smoking and chewing tobacco.
Whether you are looking to prevent gum disease or restore your oral health, it starts with reaching out to your local dentist to schedule a visit. The sooner you take action, the quicker you can enjoy the results!
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. For the past two decades, he has offered the best in comprehensive dentistry. Along the way, Dr. Buck has completed and taught several hours of advanced postgraduate education through Spear Education. He uses his vast knowledge and years of experience to treat gum disease at Creative Smiles, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.