Periodontal disease, or gum disease, has different stages. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and the good news is that it’s reversible with proper care. But if not taken care of at this stage, it can lead to a much more severe condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis causes damage to the structures that support your teeth and eventually can lead to bone erosion and tooth loss.
If you notice the symptoms of gum disease, make sure to see Dr. Irfan Atcha at New Teeth Chicago Dental or your local dentist for a routine check-up and cleaning twice a year. For patients in the River North neighborhood of Near North Side, Chicago, Dr. Atcha offers personalized treatment plans for your gingivitis, periodontitis, or other dental issues.
Read on to learn how addressing gingivitis early can prevent developing periodontitis.
What exactly is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque or bacteria on the teeth. You may have gingivitis if your gums are red and swollen or if they bleed easily when you floss or brush your teeth. Some other signs to look for are bad breath and gums that look like they’re separating or pulling away from your teeth.
If you have gingivitis, it’s essential to take care of it early so it doesn’t develop into periodontitis.
What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a gum infection that may lead to soft tissue erosion and bone destruction. Your teeth may loosen and require extraction, or they may even fall out on their own. You can prevent periodontitis by practicing good oral hygiene and going to your regular dental appointments.
If you do have this condition, Dr. Atcha is here to help. Depending on the severity of your periodontitis, he may suggest a deep cleaning treatment called root planing and scaling, laser treatment to kill excessive bacteria, or dental surgery if necessary.
How to prevent gingivitis from developing into periodontitis
Brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and flossing daily are important steps for proper dental care. By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can help keep gingivitis at bay.
Here are some other ways to fight gingivitis early on and prevent periodontitis:
- If you smoke, quit. This is a major risk factor for developing gum disease.
- Lower your stress level so your body can fight off the infection.
- Eat a healthy diet, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Get fitted for a night guard if you grind your teeth at night. Grinding can weaken the tissues that support your teeth, which can worsen your gum condition.
- Use an oral irrigation device daily to provide extra cleaning around your gum line.
- See Dr. Atcha twice a year, or more if needed. Regular teeth cleanings should be a key part of your overall strategy for keeping your mouth healthy.
Dr. Atcha and the team at New Teeth Chicago Dental provide top-notch care to all our patients in Chicago. So if you’ve noticed some of the symptoms of gingivitis and feel worried it might turn into periodontitis, give us a quick call to schedule an appointment today.