Are gingivitis and periodontitis different?

Yes, they are different in simple terms. Gingivitis is a big fancy word that just means gum inflammation. This inflammation is caused by bacteria in your mouth, specifically plaque that you didn't brush away. It sits there day after day, building colonies of bacteria that grow into villages, towns, and cities of bacteria in your mouth, irritating the gums.

The gums get red, puffy, and upset, but this is very superficial. This disease has not yet progressed to affecting the bone underneath. It only affects the soft tissue, the gum. Once it progresses and starts attacking the bone that's underneath, it becomes periodontal disease. It's a more serious condition and involves more work. Gingivitis is very easily treatable and it's the early steps before we get periodontal or gum disease.

What are the symptoms of gingivitis?

The number one symptom that we see is red, puffy, bleeding gums. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, this is a symptom. Your gums are upset and crying blood. Nice healthy gums are nice and taut and pink. They shouldn't be red and puffy.

How do dentists treat gingivitis?

The first step in treating gingivitis is to remove all of that plaque and bacteria. You have to come in for your cleaning so the hygienist can clean your mouth properly. But then it's your job to maintain oral hygiene. You have to brush and floss properly. We'll show you how to do that.

When should I schedule an appointment if I think I have gingivitis?

If you think you have gingivitis, give our office a call and we can schedule an appointment for a cleaning. Our phone number here is (440) 659-1455. We'd be happy to help you.