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What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Many refer to gum disease without specifying the specific type. However, it is helpful to understand the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis, the two main types of gum disease. Although similar, there are certain symptoms that may be different and the treatment subsequently may be different as well.
Reviewing the types of gum disease
Being able to diagnose gingivitis and periodontitis early is important for ensuring the condition does not worsen or linger for an extended period of time. The following is an overview of gingivitis and periodontitis, with additional insights on the more common symptoms of gum disease and when to seek treatment for your symptoms.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It is relatively easy to treat when the early symptoms are identified and the patient schedules a visit with the general dentist for prompt treatment. The more common symptoms of gingivitis include discolored gums and gum swelling. Bleeding may also occur while brushing the gums. The treatment options for gingivitis typically include improving oral hygiene practices. A scaling and root planing treatment may be required for a more severe form of gingivitis.
If gingivitis is not dealt with properly, then it can worsen and develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause the tissue surrounding the bone that supports teeth to break down. If this occurs, then teeth are vulnerable to becoming lost. Periodontitis can also cause gum recession and gum pockets to become deeper, which increases the risk of an oral infection. It is essential to seek treatment for periodontitis to prevent more expensive treatments down the road such as root canal therapy or teeth replacement.
Signs of gum disease
More mild symptoms suggest that gingivitis is more likely than periodontitis, whereas the opposite may be true for symptoms such as gum recession or loose teeth. Of course, symptoms do not mean with certainty that the issue is gum disease as they could be the result of other oral health concerns. Nevertheless, the more common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen gums
- Gum discoloration
- Bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
If any of these symptoms appear, then consider scheduling a visit with a general dentist to promptly treat and try and reverse the gum disease if that is the issue.
How to prevent gum disease
The best way to deal with gum disease is to prevent it from developing. You can significantly reduce the risk of gum disease by brushing regularly, flossing to remove plaque along the gumline, and using mouthwash as directed. Regular dental checkups and cleanings with a general dentist are also helpful in preventing gum disease. If symptoms develop, then more regular dental visits may be required.
Schedule an initial consultation for gum disease treatment
If you have symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis and want to find out for sure if you have gum disease please give our friendly dental team a call today. We can schedule a consultation and answer your questions.
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