You’ve spotted a bit of blood when you brush and may have noticed that your gums are swollen. All the symptoms point to gingivitis, gum disease in its early stages, yet you’re probably wondering what will happen when it gets worse and how will you know things aren’t improving. Find out how much you should worry about gum disease and learn what a periodontist can do to help you keep gum disease under control.
Gingivitis vs Periodontitis
In its earliest stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis. In its later stages, it’s known as periodontitis. They share many of the same symptoms, though those of periodontitis are much worse than those of gingivitis.
The biggest difference between them, however, is how you and your dentist can treat them. Gingivitis and the tender, bleeding gums it triggers can be decisively defeated. Periodontitis, on the other hand, can be managed at best. Your dentist will offer procedures to help repair some of the damage periodontitis causes, as well as treatment options to keep gum disease from spreading.
Prevention Over Prescription
Discolored and bleeding gums are a warning flag that you have gum disease and an indication that you need to check in with your dentist’s office. Though gingivitis can be reversed, there are some common procedures that you just can’t perform at home without formal training in the dental sciences and the requisite tools.
One of the biggest issues is tartar, hardened plaque the covers teeth and creates bacterial pockets between the teeth and gums. And all it takes to keep this issue from progressing into periodontitis is something as simple as a teeth cleaning, during which a dental hygienist will carefully remove the tartar from your teeth.
If the tartar has dipped below the gum line, you may need a deeper cleaning. However, you’ll find that preventative procedures such as teeth cleanings are generally fully covered by dental insurance and are as affordable as a nice meal out, if you have to pay out of pocket.
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