The Difference Between Gingivitis and Advanced Periodontitis

Although gingivitis and advanced periodontitis both affect your gums, they are two different health issues.

Your teeth are held in position by a number of things including bone tissue, ligaments, and your gums. If you do not properly care for your teeth, plaque can begin to form around your gums. Your gums begin to retreat and create “pockets.” These pockets allow for more bacteria to build up. This is gingivitis.

There are different severities of gingivitis, which is tested by measuring the deepness of the pockets around your teeth. You generally want pockets that are 1-3mm deep. Your pockets will be deeper if you have an infection.

Gingivitis, if left untreated, can form advanced periodontitis. Advanced periodontitis occurs when plaque and tartar infect your gums and begin to deteriorate the soft tissue that supports your teeth. If you do not treat advanced periodontitis, it can begin affecting the bone of your tooth. When this happens, the tooth is at risk of needing an extraction.

Gingivitis vs. Gum Disease Dentist Strongsville OH

For minor plaque buildup, your dentist will be able to clean away the bacteria before it advances. If you are in a more advanced stage, a procedure called “scaling and root planing” will be done to clean around the gums and below your gums to remove tartar.

If you have any questions about the health of your gums, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni in Strongsville, OH.

Periodontal Disease | Why a Deep Cleaning is Important

Maintaining your oral health is probably important to you. However, no matter how hard you try, you may still develop some oral health issues. One of the most common oral health problems to develop is gum disease. In fact, the CDC reports that 47% of adults in the US suffer from gum disease.

If you have developed gum disease—whether you have been properly caring for your teeth, or neglecting them—there is treatment available. How far your gum disease has advanced will determine what type of treatment your case demands. The most common form of treatment for gum disease is a deep cleaning. This type of cleaning will be necessary if you develop gum disease, as your regular cleanings will no longer properly clean your teeth and gum line.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleanings utilize special tools and techniques and include two steps: scaling and root planing.

The first step, scaling, removes tartar and plaque from the surface of your tooth and beneath your gum line.

The second step, root planing, is a process of carefully smoothing the surface of your tooth’s root to decrease inflammation, and shrink the pockets that have formed in your gums. If these pockets are left untreated, they will continue to allow plaque and tartar to build up under your gums and on your gum line.

Typically, a deep cleaning will require 2-4 visits to your dentist, and also may involve a local anesthetic during treatment.

Unfortunately, if your gum disease has developed too far, it cannot be fully cured, only treated. Gum disease is a systemic disease, very similar to diabetes or high blood pressure (HBP). After you have received a deep cleaning, it is important to continue treatment and schedule routine cleanings at your dentist’s office. If you do not receive routine cleanings, gum disease can cause tooth loss, loss of jaw bone, and lead to many other health problems.

To learn more on deep cleanings, visit Oral-B’s website.

Need a Dentist Appointment?

If you are in need of a dentist, we welcome you to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Aerni at his office in Strongsville.