Gingivitis and periodontitis are two stages of gum disease. If you would like to know what the differences between the two stages are and how to recognize them, we can offer a bit more information for you.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If you take a look at your gums and they appear red and swollen, those signs may indicate of gingivitis. Your gums may pull away from your teeth as well, which may make the teeth look like they are growing longer. You may also have bad breath that likes to linger no matter what you do to get rid of it, though having bad breath does not necessarily mean gingivitis is present.
A really nice aspect of gingivitis is that it can be turned back fairly easily. Brushing and flossing can help, though it may be best to get more help from our dentist to learn what more you can do to treat it. We can also help you get started by performing a dental cleaning, which can be more effective at combating the plaque that is causing the condition.
If gingivitis progresses, however, it can turn into periodontitis. With periodontitis, the gums may recede so much that they form what are called periodontal pockets between them and the teeth. Plaque can hop into the pockets and spread the infection all the more. Your teeth may start to get looser because the receding gums can no longer offer support. Yes, they can eventually fall out, but only if you allow the disease to keep progressing. The sooner you get treatment, the easier it can be to prevent such problems.
We offer some other treatments here at Premier Dental in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that may help you combat periodontitis and help your gums heal. We can help you combat both stages and may even be able to help you prevent gum disease from ever gracing your mouth. You can call (319) 294-2323 to let us know what you need and set up a visit.