Given how important gum health is to overall mouth health, it is kind of bad that I haven’t addressed it yet on my blog, so it’s time to get to this very important subject! The first thing to note: as much as I love to use photos to illustrate different situations, I’m not going to use any pictures of gum disease, and please trust me on this….you don’t want me to do so! LOL Gum disease can look pretty nasty (and it is!), and if you’re reading this around lunch or dinner, I don’t want you to lose your appetite.
What is the Difference between Gum (Periodontal) Disease and Gingivitis?
In simplest terms: Gingivitis is inflammation of your gums, but Gum Disease is infection of your gums. Both are caused by bacteria, but gum disease is more severe and has worse consequences for your overall health. Don’t believe me? How about Whoopi Goldberg?
If you listen to the TV commercials by certain mouthrinse manufacturers, you’d think gingivitis is pretty darn bad. True, you should not ignore it, but no, it does not mean your teeth are on the verge of falling out.
What Makes Gingivitis Turn into Periodontitis (Gum DISEASE)?
Whether or not gingivitis ever progresses to gum (periodontal) disease is affected by a number of factors, including
- The kinds and amounts of bacteria in your mouth
- Your immune system
- Your oral hygiene habits (brushing, flossing, mouthrinses, etc)
Stages of Gum Disease
- Type I: the mildest form and is when gingivitis crosses the line into gum disease.
- Types II and III: getting progressively worse with the gum separating from the teeth, bone being lost, the gums getting redder and bleeding more easily, lots of tartar and plaque building up.
- Type IV: severe bleeding, pus, teeth are loose and wobbly, gum abscesses, and teeth even falling out.
Did you know that gum disease is the cause of more extractions that cavities even?
So what can you do about it? Stay tuned…….more information coming soon! It’s important, too, BECAUSE GUM DISEASE HAS BEEN LINKED TO A NUMBER OF OTHER VERY SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS YOU DON’T WANT!
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We’ll look forward to meeting you soon!