Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
Throughout the day, even the healthiest of dental patients develop a very mild gum inflammation from meals and snacks we consume. This is called gingivitis. Normal oral hygiene habits like brushing, flossing and an antibacterial mouth rinse keep these issues at bay as the days and weeks fly by.
Gingivitis is gum inflammation from the bacteria that is in our mouth, and gum disease, or periodontitis, is bone loss from that same inflammation causing bacteria. In other words, the inflammation becomes so bad over a period of time, that you start harboring bacteria, not normally there, that destroys the bone structure around the teeth.
Gum disease often goes unnoticed as the signs and symptoms are not always as apparent to you as they would be to a dental professional. It important to maintain regular appointments so both a combination of a thorough visual inspection, as well as the use of diagnostic X-rays can aid the dentist in ensuring you do not have any signs of this prevalent disease.
Signs to look for include redness and swelling of gums, bad breath, sensitivity, and loose teeth. Gum disease has been proven to be linked to more serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Keep in mind that good oral health leads to good overall health.
Scaling & Root Planning
If gum disease is present, it is recommended that you undergo a relatively non-invasive procedure called scaling and root planning, or deep cleaning. Your hygienist may also recommend placement of a small chip in selected areas to help address the disease. After, it will be recommended that you follow-up with the periodontist or gum specialist. The periodontist will assist you in determining why you developed signs of periodontitis in the first place, and what can be done to prevent the problem from recurring or worsening.