Does Having Gingivitis Mean You Have Gum Disease?

Sometimes, gingivitis and gum disease can seem synonymous. In some cases, they’re used together when describing the same condition, or when advertising certain hygiene products. However, there are several distinct differences between the two. For example, gingivitis describes a minor infection in your gums caused by harmful oral bacteria, and it’s a precursor to the extensive damage that’s associated with gum disease. At our Olathe, KS, dental office, we can help you identify and treat gingivitis in its early stages. This can reduce your risks of experiencing the many severe consequences that are related to more severe gum disease.

What are gingivitis and gum disease?

Gingivitis is the clinical name for the first stage of gum disease, and it’s marked by symptoms such as redness and inflammation in your gums. Gingivitis develops when harmful oral bacteria – the building blocks of plaque and tartar – are allowed to gather en mass along your gum line, working their way underneath it. Once they do, oral bacteria can form plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) on your teeth roots. As gingivitis settles in and progresses, it can cause your gums to grow infected and angry looking, as well as to separate further from the teeth roots that they’re supposed to be protecting.

How do you know when it’s too late?

The more gingivitis progresses, the mores it can affect your gums and overall oral health. As the foundation of your smile, your gums and underlying jawbone structure help keep your teeth steady when you bite and chew. If these tissues start to bleed and/or feel increasingly more sensitive, then they may be in the grips of an increasingly worse situation. Before long, untreated gingivitis and its symptoms will grow worse, leading to more severe gum disease and erosion of your periodontal tissues.

What are your options for treating gingivitis?

When gingivitis is detected and treated early enough, it can be successfully controlled (and, in some cases, reversed) with appropriate periodontal treatment. For example, scaling and root planing (periodontal cleaning) can remove the oral bacteria from underneath your gums that have accumulated on your teeth roots. This allows your gums to heal to the teeth roots and reduce the risks of further damage to your gums.

Protect your smile from gingivitis and gum disease

Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, doesn’t have to become a significant threat to your smile. For more information about preventing gingivitis or gum disease, schedule a consultation by calling E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-764-1018 or 913-353-4213. We also proudly serve patients from Gardner, Spring Hill, and all surrounding communities.