January 3, 2020
Gum tissue is incredibly important to your oral health. In fact, it is just as important as the health of your tooth enamel, even though it doesn’t get nearly as much attention. The reality is without healthy gum tissue, your teeth cannot reliably stay in your mouth. Without treatment, your teeth can even fall out! With that said, there are stages of gum disease you’ll need to keep in mind, especially if a periodontist tells you that you need periodontal therapy in Florham Park. After reading this, you’ll understand the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis as well as the treatments that accompany both.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that is still in the early stages of development. It is the mildest form of gum disease and is typically characterized by redness and swelling of the gums. In most cases, gingivitis does not require surgical treatment, but this can vary depending on the extent of the condition. Keep in mind that if it is not handled promptly, it can just as easily develop into periodontitis, which is a significantly more serious form of gum disease.
Furthermore, all levels of gum disease are diagnosed not just based on your symptoms, but also on the current pocket depth of your gum tissue. This refers to the small space in between your gums and your teeth, which increase in depth and width as gum disease advances. The deeper the pocket depth of your gums, the more severe your gum disease actually is. You want to aim for a pocket depth of one to three mm, but even three mm could be a sign of gingivitis based on your other symptoms.
What is Periodontitis?
Technically speaking, there are three levels of periodontitis that patients can develop; mild, moderate and severe. It’s also worth mentioning that the term “periodontal disease” is just another term for “gum disease,” and is not exclusively meant to reference the advanced form that is periodontitis.
Periodontitis is characterized by significant redness, swelling and tenderness in the gums as well as loose teeth and exposure of the tooth’s root. You may also notice your gums receding, which is present when the teeth appear much longer than usual. When teeth are overexposed, the more vulnerable parts of the tooth can become damaged by plaque acids produced by bacteria.
If your gum pockets’ depth fall anywhere between four mm and eight mm and above, you likely have some form of periodontitis.
How Do Treatments Compare?
To treat gingivitis, most cases will only require a detailed cleaning as well as improved at-home habits. It is the only form of gum disease that is actually reversible, so it’s crucial to get treatment when it is still occurring in these early stages.
However, if you have any form of periodontitis, a typical cleaning won’t be enough. Instead, you’ll need to consider whether your treatment will be surgical or non-surgical.
Non-surgical treatments include:
- Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
- Soft tissue laser treatment
Surgical treatment includes:
- Pocket reduction
- Osseous surgery
No matter what level of gum disease you have, the last thing you should do is put off treatment. Visit a periodontist in Florham Park to get started!
About the Author
Dr. James Rynar is a highly trained and experienced periodontist dedicated to helping patients with all levels of gum disease get the treatment they need. He is one of the go-to periodontists in the Metropolitan area and has advanced certification in periodontal therapy. For questions or to schedule your next appointment, you can do so through his website.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.