Gum disease is a group of diseases that cause the gums to be swollen, red, and bleed easily. People who are chronic smokers, heavy drinkers, and observant of poor oral hygiene practices are more susceptible to gum disease. In contrast, periodontitis causes the gums to recede and inflame around the teeth. This article will explore the three differences between gum disease and periodontitis.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a general term used to describe the inflammation of the gums. It is also known as gingivitis. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of food and bacteria that forms on teeth. Plaque irritates the gums, making them red, swollen, and susceptible to bleeding. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, further inflame the gums, and cause periodontitis or inflammation of the tissues that support your teeth.
Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease that can destroy the bone and connective tissue that support your teeth. Periodontitis occurs when plaque spreads below the gum line and causes an infection. The body’s immune system responds to the disease by attacking the tissue around the tooth. This attack breaks down the bone and connective tissue, causing them to pull away from the tooth. As periodontitis progresses, teeth can become loose and eventually fall out.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a severe gum disease that can damage the tissues and bones that support your teeth. If not treated, it can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis occurs when plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and harden below the gumline. It creates pockets (spaces) between your teeth and gums. Bacteria can then get trapped in these pockets and destroy the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place.
Symptoms of periodontitis include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gaps forming between your teeth
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus coming from your gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
The 3 main differences between gum disease and periodontitis
1. Gum disease is a general term used to describe any inflammation of the gum tissue. Periodontitis is a gum disease that destroys the connective tissue and bone-supporting teeth.
2. Gum disease is usually caused by plaque buildup on the teeth. Periodontitis is generally caused by a bacterial infection that attacks the gums and connective tissue.
3. Gum disease can usually be treated with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Periodontitis requires more aggressive treatment, such as deep cleaning, antibiotics, and possibly surgery.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease or Periodontitis?
If you’re worried about gum disease, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of the American adults have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that supports your teeth. There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It’s characterized by red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Gingivitis is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. Plaque can harden into tartar, which irritates your gums and makes them more susceptible to infection.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease that damages the tissues and bones around your teeth. Periodontitis is typically characterized by deep pockets forming between your teeth and gums. These pockets collect food and plaque, leading to further irritation and inflammation. If left untreated, periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss.
So how do you know if you have gum disease? The best way to find out is to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and examination. Your dentist will look for signs of gum disease, such as redness, swelling, or bleeding gums.
Treatment for Gum Disease Versus Periodontitis
There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both conditions can lead to tooth loss but differ in symptoms and treatment.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. A buildup of plaque on the teeth causes gingivitis. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar, irritating the gums and leading to gingivitis.
Treatment for gingivitis includes regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings. Sometimes, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection.
Periodontitis is the more advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets fill with bacteria and pus, causing the gums to inflame and bleed easily. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss if not treated properly.
Treatment for periodontitis includes deep cleanings, antibiotics, and sometimes surgery. In severe cases, a dentist may recommend a tooth extraction.
The Final Words
While gum disease and periodontitis are both severe oral health conditions, there are some critical differences between the two. First, gum disease is an infection of the gums, while periodontitis is an inflammation of the tissues that support the teeth. Secondly, gum disease can be reversed with good oral hygiene habits, but periodontitis cannot. Finally, gum disease is a risk factor for developing periodontitis, but not all people with gum disease will go on to develop periodontitis. If you think you have either condition, it’s essential to see a dentist as soon as possible so that you can begin treatment and protect your oral health.
The main difference between gum disease and periodontitis is its severity. Gum disease is early and can be treated with professional cleaning and good oral hygiene at home. Periodontitis is more severe and needs more intensive treatment, often involving deep cleanings, antibiotics, and surgery. Other differences include bleeding gums, pain, and receding gums.
No, periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease. The main difference between the two is that periodontitis affects the tissues and bones that support your teeth, while gum disease only affects the gums. Periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss if it is not treated.
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