Gum Disease: Periodontitis Vs Gingivitis

The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is an important one. These are both types of gum disease, but there are some significant distinctions that make them different from one another. In this blog from St. Clair Tooth Co., we’ll be looking at the basics of each type of gum disease, how you can recognize them, and how gingivitis vs. periodontis is treated by dentists with periodontal care.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. It’s distinct from later stages of gum disease because it’s reversible. While gingivitis does cause serious gum inflammation, it does not cause permanent damage to the underlying structures of your gums and teeth.

In other words, with proper care, it’s possible not just to control its spread, but to completely eliminate it. Dr. Cassleman can help you completely reverse this type of gum disease, and restore your healthy mouth. 

This is not possible with later stages of gum disease, like periodontis, as we’ll explain in a moment. And that’s why it’s so important to get early care. Catching gum disease when it’s in this stage will ensure the best possible outcome for your case. 

How Do I Recognize And Treat Gingivitis? 

Gingivitis, being the first stage of gum disease, has relatively mild symptoms compared to later stages. These usually include:

  • Swollen and inflamed gums
  • Gum discoloration
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Tender gums
  • Bleeding when brushing and flossing

Gingivitis can usually be treated with a deep cleaning (scaling & root planing) from a dentist. Antibiotics may also be recommended, and better at-home oral hygiene and lifestyle changes are also necessary to reverse this stage of gum disease. A big difference between gingivitis and periodontis is that gingivitis is more mild and easily treatable by a dentist than periodontis.

What Is Periodontitis? 

Periodontitis refers to any gum disease that has progressed past gingivitis, and has caused permanent damage to the teeth and gums. It’s sometimes split into two more stages, known as periodontitis and “advanced periodontitis.” 

While it is not possible to completely eliminate periodontitis (unlike gingivitis), it can be controlled to protect your oral health, save your teeth, and ensure you can live a normal lifestyle. 

How Do I Recognize And Treat Periodontitis? 

As a more advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis tends to have more severe symptoms. You may experience all the same symptoms of gum disease, as well as:

  • Gum recession that makes your teeth look longer
  • Severe pain and tenderness when chewing
  • Teeth shifting or moving in your mouth
  • A bad taste in your mouth

Deep cleanings, antibiotics, and better at-home oral hygiene are usually the first method of treatment used, but some patients with more advanced cases of periodontitis may need surgeries like gum grafts or gum flap surgery to reduce bacteria buildup and control the infection.

Need Periodontal Care In St. Clair Shores Or Grosse Pointe? Contact Us Today!

If you suspect that you have gingivitis or periodontitis, immediate care is the best way to protect your oral health. So don’t wait. Get the periodontal care you need in Grosse Pointe or St. Clair Shores from Dr. Carly Cassleman. Contact us online or give us a call at (586) 404-4911 to schedule a consultation, have your mouth examined, and begin a periodontal treatment plan that will protect and restore your oral health. 

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