What’s the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Gingivitis and periodontitis are both gum diseases that can cause pain, sensitivity, and changes in the gum appearance. If left untreated, they can also cause long-term damage to your overall health. But what is the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis? And what should I know about these two diseases? Get the facts in the article below.

Understanding Gum Health

Most of us don’t think about our gums very often. However, they are one of the most important parts of the mouth. Gum tissue helps protect both the teeth and also the jawbones against harmful bacteria and food debris. The gums also provide important support for the teeth. However, just like teeth, gums can be vulnerable to germs. Without proper oral care, bacteria can cause gum disease to spread in the mouth. 

Gingivitis Vs. Periodontitis

Gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common types of gum disease. So what’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis? Simply put, gingivitis is the more mild form of gum disease. Gingivitis is also known as gum inflammation. It’s when an overgrowth of bacteria causes redness, swelling, and/or bleeding in the gums. If it’s not treated, it can develop into periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease. 

Treatment Options

Another key difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is how the diseases are treated. For patients with mild gingivitis, professional dental cleanings, home care, and dental scaling/root planing are usually enough to restore the gum tissue. Periodontitis patients may need more advanced treatments, such as flap surgery, bone grafts, and/or soft tissue grafts. At the end of the day, it all depends on the severity of your gum disease. 

Protecting Your Gums

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the easiest way to protect against gum disease. Brush and floss daily and monitor your gums for any changes. Furthermore, visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Together, you and your dentist can keep your gums strong and healthy. 

Talk to a Dentist Today

The Smile Artisans are here to help you take charge of your gum health. Whether you have are suffering from gum disease or are simply looking to prevent disease in the future, our team can help. Call us to book an appointment today.