Gingivitis and Periodontitis
By Roger B. Parkes, DMD on March 04, 2016
This is a brief overview for those who are confused about gingivitis and periodontitis. Both are forms of gum disease.
In a healthy mouth, teeth are held in place by the gums, bone and ligaments. When plaque—a sticky film containing bacteria—forms around the teeth, it can irritate the gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets allow for the collection of more harmful bacteria, and infection. This is gingivitis.
Your dentist or hygienist can spot this by measuring the depth of the pockets around each tooth. In a healthy mouth, gum pockets typically don't exceed 1-3mm in depth, whereas infected gum pockets are deeper, and tend to bleed.
Left unchecked, gingivitis can eventually turn into advanced periodontitis. The plaque and tartar building up on the gum line begins to break down the soft tissues that support the teeth, and, as the disease progresses, the bone that supports the teeth will be effected as well. This results in loose teeth that may need to be removed.
Gum disease is treatable, however, and in the early stages, can be dealt with through professional cleanings and improved home care. For those patients with more advanced gum disease, periodontists like Dr. Parkes and Dr. Stewart at our Jackson, MS office may recommend scaling and planing. This is a deep cleaning where the root of the tooth is cleaned of plaque and tartar all the way down to the bottom the the periodontal pocket, helping the gums to reattach to the tooth.
If you are suffering from gum disease, contact us at Periodontal Associates of Jackson to schedule a consultation.
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“Thank you for everything! You have a very friendly office where people greet you by name. Everyone makes me feel at ease and welcome as if I'm the only patient you have. I am extremely pleased with the outcome of my periodontal treatment. Kudos to Dr. Parkes and his staff.” Alex S.