Did you know that gingivitis isn’t actually gum disease? Most are surprised to find out that gingivitis is actually the inflammation of your gums that if untreated will lead to periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease. Rest assured, not all gingivitis progresses into gum disease, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. Early on in the stages of gingivitis, plaque starts to build up that causes gums to become inflamed but at this stage no irreversible harm has been done. So what’s the story and how do you know if you have periodontitis?
When your teeth start to become affected after untreated gingivitis, that’s when you need to start worrying. Not brushing and flossing will cause gingivitis to progress to periodontitis. When the inner layer of gum and bone pull away from each other and form pockets, food and sugars get stuck and cause further infections that can lead to tooth loss. Preventing the disease is as simple as brushing and flossing! Plaque build up is the #1 cause of gum disease and tooth loss.
The gums anchor teeth in and when periodontitis occurs, your gums have eroded to the point teeth actually become loose. This is a dangerous stage but there’s still hope! We are able to measure the amount of exposed tooth in patients with periodontitis and are trained to clean deep pockets that have formed, allowing gums to heal.
Remember: it all starts with plaque! Brushing and flossing keep gingivitis from occurring and reduce the chance of tooth loss in the long run. It’s easy to let gingivitis get out of control! Make sure to visit us regularly to ensure you’re not in the early stages of periodontitis.