Both gingivitis and periodontitis are forms of gum disease and are caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth. In spite of this similarity, they are quite different as gingivitis is easily curable whereas periodontitis is a very different beast and it really needs specialized treatment from a periodontist.
Often periodontitis can become chronic and will never be completely cured, with ongoing treatment needed just to help control it.
Ideally, it’s best to spot the symptoms of gingivitis well before it can cause any sort of destruction but unfortunately gingivitis is often referred to as being a silent disease, meaning the early signs are easily overlooked and ignored. As a result it can develop into periodontitis, a condition that can cause significant destruction and which is a major cause of tooth loss.
Taking a Closer Look at How Gingivitis Begins to Develop
Your mouth contains many different species of bacteria and unfortunately not all are benign. Every day the bacterial levels in your mouth begin to build up which is why regular brushing and flossing is so important to help reduce them. If you neglect to brush and floss then these bacterial levels will continue to increase and these bacteria produce toxins. These toxins will infect your gums producing the very first signs of gingivitis. At this stage you may be completely unaware that anything is wrong. It’s possible your gums might bleed when you brush or floss but some people don’t even have this symptom. This might well be the case if you smoke, because smoking constricts the blood vessels in your gums making bleeding less likely. Additionally your gums might begin to look a bit red or swollen, but otherwise you may be blissfully ignorant of your increasingly unhealthy gums.
Gingivitis Will Soon Develop into Periodontitis
If these early symptoms are missed then the subtle destruction of your gums will continue and they will begin to pull away from your teeth creating what are called periodontal pockets or gaps in between your teeth and gums. These pockets allow the bacteria to thrive and multiply even more, especially as they are very hard to clean with a toothbrush. Next, the bacteria will begin to destroy the ligaments attaching your teeth to the bony sockets and even the bone surrounding your teeth.
Periodontal Assessments Help Keep Your Gums Healthy and Strong
This is where regular periodontal assessments can help tremendously. Visiting a good periodontal practice, for example EnvySmile Dental Spa will help keep your gums strong and disease free. Any small signs that something is wrong will be easily detected and areas of concern will be closely monitored. If you do happen to need any treatment then you will benefit from receiving the best and most advanced periodontal care. Periodontists have undergone several years’ additional training and can offer the kind of treatments that simply aren’t available at a general dental practice.
You do not need to have a referral from your general dentist to book an appointment with a periodontist and a yearly assessment can be a worthwhile investment in your dental health and in your general health, as the two are extremely closely connected.