Periodontitis and Gingivitis ?
Several types of pathologies can appear in the oral cavity. These include gingivitis and periodontitis. The main difference between these two diseases that affect the supporting tissues of the tooth is in the duration. Indeed, gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. If not treated in time, it can gradually evolve into a disease of the periodontium, periodontitis.
What is gingivitis?
First, gingivitis is a localized or generalized inflammation of the gums. It is a periodontal disease. First, this inflammation is caused by a deposit of bacteria that is formed daily by saliva and food residues, which make up dental plaque.
If this disease is badly treated, or for example, detected too late, it can be evaluated as periodontitis. In this case, all the tissues will be affected: cement, alveolar bone, alveolar-dental ligament, and obviously the gums.
In addition, there are several types of gingivitis that are classified according to their cause:
Chronic gingivitis: This is the most common. It is generally due to a letting go at the level of oral hygiene.
Hypertrophic gingivitis: It is distinguishable from others because it leads to significant swelling of the gums. However, it is very often the result of taking certain medications.
Generalized hypertrophic gingivitis: This particularly affects pregnant women.
Ulceronecrotic gingivitis: This is the rarest form of this disease as it results in tissue destruction.
Normally, healthy gums are firm and pale pink, so their color turns red and they appear irritated or swollen, you are definitely suffering from gingivitis. This is a common inflammation of the mucous membranes surrounding the teeth. That is to say that it is often accompanied by bleeding during brushing and bad breath. This is why this is the first stage of gingival pathologies.
So, the main cause of gingivitis lies in the dental plaque that accumulates on the surface of the teeth. In addition, this colorless and sticky film consists of acids, sugars, bacteria and salivary proteins. Indeed, if it is not properly eliminated during daily brushing, then it hardens and turns into tartar. Subsequently, it begins to attack the gums, causing inflammation.
Nevertheless, gingivitis can appear even if you have good dental hygiene. Indeed, certain factors can predispose you to gum disease. This is particularly the case for genetic factors related to your family history. Of course, taking certain medications and a badly fitted denture can also be responsible for inflammation of the gums.
How to prevent gum inflammation?
Take the case of our dentists from our clinics in Sofia, Bulgaria who share their recommendations to avoid gingivitis:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and for at least two minutes.
Use dental floss or an interdental brush to remove debris lodged between the teeth.
Limit the consumption of sugary drinks, alcohol and acidic foods.
Use a mouthwash against gingivitis if necessary.
Visit your dentist regularly.
The Symptoms of Periodontitis
As we explained earlier, untreated gingivitis has a high risk of leading to periodontitis. If so, this means that the damage to the gums has reached an irreversible stage. This is how the dental plaque then penetrated inside the periodontium, in other words the supporting tissues of the dental organ. These include the gums, the cementum, the alveolo-dental ligament and the alveolar bone.
What causes periodontitis?
In first place, Periodontitis is a common disease that can have very serious consequences. Its origin is infectious and it affects one or more teeth. Here are the main factors that lead to periodontitis:
- Poor oral hygiene.
- A weakening of the immune system.
- Untreated or poorly treated gingivitis.
- An imbalance of the oral bacterial flora.
- The existence of a systemic pathology such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Generally, periodontitis affects patients over the age of 35. When it progresses slowly and moderately, it is called chronic periodontitis. Conversely, aggressive periodontitis progresses rapidly and tends to affect patients under 30 years of age. In this case, there is a genetic predisposition or a big drop in immunity.
The diagnosis of periodontitis
To conclude, as with gingivitis, only a doctor can detect periodontitis and offer appropriate treatment. Also performing an X-ray of the oral cavity is essential to assess the extent of damage in the periodontium. Moreover, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and specialized oral hygiene products. In cases of severe periodontitis, surgery is considered. Finally, be aware that periodontal diseases are the main cause of tooth loss in adulthood in Switzerland.