Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis

This month we are going to focus on the different stages of gum disease. Dr. Clark truly believes that knowledge is power; the more you know, the more control you can take over your oral health care.

Perio.org's website explains the beginning stage of gum disease:  Gingivitis.  Take a minute to read through the common factors of gingivits and see if you or one of your family members may be experiencing the early signs of this unpleasant condition.

TYPES OF GUM DISEASE

Untreated periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.
The Academy of General Dentistry in their "Know Your Teeth" series share the following information about gingivitis:

Healthy gums appear coral pink, firm and form a sharp point where they meet the tooth. When excessive amounts of bacteria and food debris build up in the spaces between the teeth and gums, a sticky material called plaque is formed.

A plaque build-up can develop and harden into calculus (tartar), which irritates the gums. Bacterial byproducts (or toxins) in the tartar cause gums to become infected, red and tender, a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease.

If you do not receive professional cleaning to halt the spread of gingivitis, the infection will spread from the gums to the ligaments and bone supporting the teeth. The tissues and ligaments will be destroyed; infections are likely to develop, causing a gum abscess, a collection of pus and swelling of gum tissues. Teeth may become loose and the gums may recede, creating increased spaces between teeth.

Dentists treat gingivitis by cleaning teeth to remove plaque and tartar and prescribing special mouthwashes or topical treatments. Treatment for periodontal disease involves more serious action such as antibiotics and antimicrobials, deep scaling of the root surface, removing infected gum tissue or extracting teeth. To avoid these potentially painful symptoms and treatments, it is important to catch the disease in its earlier stages.

"Gum disease can develop within weeks," cautions Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc, lead author of the journal report. He reminds patients to prevent periodontal disease by regular flossing, brushing and dental checkups. In addition, maintaining a healthy diet and low levels of stress boost the body's natural immune system, which fights bacteria in the mouth.

Like with any illness, the earlier you catch it, the better chances you have of preventing further damage. There are many great products and services that we can assist you with that can literally reverse gum disease before it creates permanent damage in your mouth.


Please call us today if you are experiencing the early signs of gum disease.  We would be happy to visit with you and discuss the options available to help you get control of your oral health care.

Please Do Not Ignore 
the Warning Signs!


(541) 451-1440

13 comments:

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  2. Great info. Thanks for this. Great to know there's good info on gingivitis out there for the public.
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    Dr. Rubino
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  13. Very Informative Post! The bottom line in treating and preventing gingivitis is that you have to remove as much plaque as you possibly can. If dental plaque is not regularly removed through professional teeth cleaning, it will naturally grow below the gum line and attach itself to the roots of your teeth.

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