Gum Disease: What’s The Difference Between Periodontitis Vs. Gingivitis?

Gum disease is a serious oral health condition. But not all cases of gum disease are the same. Broadly speaking, gum disease can be split into two stages, known as gingivitis and periodontitis. 

But what’s the difference between the two, and why does it matter? Let’s get into the details in this blog from Del Mar Dental Studio. Read on, or contact us for an appointment now if you think you may have gum disease in Del Mar. 

Understanding Gingivitis – Reversible, Early-Stage Gum Disease

First, let’s start with gingivitis. This is a term used to refer to the first stage of gum disease. The primary difference between gingivitis and later stages of gum disease like periodontitis is that it is reversible.

In other words, if you take steps to improve your at-home oral hygiene, eliminate risk factors like smoking and heavy alcohol use, and you see Dr. Todd Pizzi for periodontal care, you will be able to completely eliminate gingivitis. 

The early signs of gingivitis usually include bleeding when brushing and flossing, puffy and swollen gums, gum discoloration, and halitosis (bad breath). If you notice these symptoms, you should see Dr. Pizzi for an appointment right away. 

Understanding Periodontitis – Irreversible Gum Disease 

If you do not get treatment for gingivitis, it will progress into periodontitis. This is a term used to refer to irreversible gum disease. Once your gum disease progresses to this stage, it will cause permanent damage to your gums, your teeth, and the support structures of your teeth.

It is not possible to completely eliminate periodontitis. However, it is possible to use special cleaning techniques and perform surgery to reduce its effects and halt its progression, keeping your smile and your gums healthy.

Still, periodontitis is not reversible. The damage it does to your mouth can never be completely eliminated, and you will need to get special “periodontal maintenance” cleanings every 3 months for the rest of your life to keep it under control. 

The signs of early periodontitis usually include gum recession, tooth sensitivity and gum tenderness, and pain when chewing. In more advanced stages of periodontitis, you may notice a change in how the teeth fit together, loose teeth, pus forming between your teeth and gums, and a lot of pain when chewing. 

This is why it’s so important to get early treatment for gum disease. If you can get treatment before your condition progresses past gingivitis, you can completely eliminate it and restore your oral health. But if you wait too long, you may end up with irreversible periodontitis that will negatively affect your oral health forever.

Contact Del Mar Dental Studio To Schedule A Consultation Today! 

If you’re concerned that you may have gum disease in Del Mar, don’t wait. Dr. Todd Pizzi and the team at Del Mar Dental Studio can provide you with the expert periodontal care you need to protect your oral health. Contact us online or give us a call at (858) 755-0187 to schedule an appointment today. 

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