When you go in for a dental check-up, your dentist isn’t just on the look-out for cavities or signs of broken, chipped or fractured teeth. Your dentist pays as much attention to your gums as he or she does with your teeth. This is because gingivitis is one of the more common dental conditions which afflict majority of Americans. It is estimated that around 75% of adult Americans will experience gingivitis at least once in their lives. Chances are that you are suffering from gingivitis while being oblivious about it. If the previous sentence just piqued your interest, here are other pertinent facts about gingivitis, and gum disease in general, which you should know about:
Gingivitis vs Periodontitis
While both dental conditions are classified under gum diseases, they have different extents. For instance, gingivitis is the inflammation of the external gingival tissues and is non-destructive in nature. This means that while it causes inflammation of the gums, it does not destroy these tissues although it does cause gum line recession and consequential exposure of the dental roots. For that reason, gingivitis is classified as the milder form of gum disease of the two.
On the other hand, periodontitis is the destruction of the supporting tissues such as the bones and ligaments. Because these structures keep teeth in place, their destruction leads to the eventual teeth loss in the sufferer. The damage can be so severe that a person could lose all of his or her teeth. And what is so much more painful with periodontitis is that teeth loss happens regardless of a person’s teeth is decayed or not. At the same time, the damage of the supporting tissues can make a person lose his or her characteristic facial features.
Prevention vs Treatment
With both diseases, it is always in the best interest of a person to do all that is possible to prevent the onset of these dental diseases. Treatment of gingivitis involves a deep dental cleaning procedure while treating periodontitis may include bone grafts in order to replace the underlying jaw structures which have been destroyed by the disease. However, preventing both gingivitis and periodontitis could not be easier. The first line of defense against these conditions is simply maintaining a strict dental hygiene regimen. Dentists suggest to their patients that they brush their teeth after each meal and before going to bed, rinsing with an anti-plaque or anti-tartar mouthwash and flossing for a very thorough clean.
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