Understanding the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile, and good oral health results in good-looking teeth. Though most people think about taking care of their teeth, they often don’t think about their gums. However, your gums are extremely important to the health of your teeth and your overall oral health. 

At Morning Dental, we understand that many people are anxious about visiting the dentist. At our two offices in Santa Ana and Huntington Beach, California, skilled dentists Bao Nguyen DDS and Michael Florman DDS provide personalized dental care in a safe and comfortable environment. They have the experience and treatments to help you have both healthy teeth and gums, giving you the gorgeous smile you want. 

Why are gums important?

Though most people focus on the look and health of their teeth, they may not be aware that their gums are an essential part of their mouth. Your gums are connected to the underlying bone that connects your teeth to your jaw, and they seal the spaces at the base of your teeth. 

Periodontal disease is a serious dental condition that can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms and contribute to tooth decay and tooth loss.  

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a condition in which your gums become irritated and inflamed. It can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms including:

Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup on your teeth from poor oral care. This plaque, formed by bacteria that consumes sugars in food, sticks to your teeth and gums. If caught and treated early, gingivitis is fully treatable and reversible. 

What is periodontitis?

If gingivitis is not caught and treated in a timely manner, it can progress periodontitis, which is also called gum disease. In periodontitis, your gums become infected, causing spaces to form between your gums and your teeth. These spaces harbor bacteria, which causes your teeth to decay at their most vulnerable spots.

The symptoms on periodontitis include:

Treating periodontitis requires professional intervention to deeply clean your teeth and gums and address any pockets that have formed in your gums that may be harboring bacteria. Your dentist provides you with information to allow you to take better care of your teeth to prevent gum disease from developing or worsening.   

Taking care of your gums is more important than most people realize. If untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a serious condition that can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and eventual tooth loss.

To learn more about gingivitis and periodontitis, or for any other oral health concerns, call our Santa Ana or Huntington Beach office to set up an appointment. You can also use our online appointment booking system

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