The newsLINK Group - Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | Periodontist – Gum Disease Topics: Gingivitis, Periodontitis Title: Gingivitis and Periodontitis Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Gingivitis and periodontitis are both gum diseases. Periodontitis is actually just a more severe case of gum disease than gingivitis is. Gingivitis is considered to be a Class I gum disease, whereas Periodontitis is considered to be Class II, III, or IV, depending on how severe your particular case happens to be. Editorial: Gingivitis and Periodontitis 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 A Description of Gingivitis and Periodontitis Gingivitis and periodontitis are both gum diseases. Periodontitis is actually just a more severe case of gum disease than gingivitis is. Gingivitis is considered to be a Class I gum disease, whereas Periodontitis is considered to be Class II, III, or IV, depending on how severe your particular case happens to be. Your gums become irritated, infected, and sensitive; you have more harmful bacteria in your mouth than you ought to; and you are at risk for losing one or more of your teeth. The Cause of Gingivitis and Periodontitis Gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by the same thing: bacteria. When you eat, the food from your meal leaves a gummy residue on your teeth called plaque; the residue combines food particles, harmful bacteria, and acid. In particular, the bacteria like the irregular surface of the plaque, and they begin to multiply. If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, use an antibacterial mouthwash, and have your teeth cleaned professionally a couple of times a year during your visits to the dentist, these are all effective preventive measures. However, if you don’t keep your teeth as clean as you ought to, the plaque hardens into tartar and the bacteria continue to multiply. Plaque and bacteria both irritate your gums, causing the gums to become tender and prone to bleeding. You begin to develop something called gum pockets around the roots of your teeth in spots where you’ve developed a buildup of tartar; essentially what happens is that the gums, which are irritated by the tartar and bacteria, pull back from the teeth. The resulting pocket fills with even more bacteria. Your gums become infected, and your immune system tries to deal with the infection, but the bacteria and your immune system both release toxins that eat away at your bones and the connective tissue that keeps your teeth firmly in your mouth. This is the reason you may lose one or more of your teeth if you don’t take care of the problem. The Percentage of Affected People Even if you do take good care of your teeth, preventive measures may not be enough to prevent you from developing gingivitis or periodontitis. The American Academy of Periodontology has determined that as many as 30% of all U.S. citizens are genetically inclined to develop gum disease. That 30% of the population is six times likelier to develop gum disease than the remaining 70%. Another predictor of gum disease is whether you smoke. Smokers are seven times likelier to develop gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis) than nonsmokers. Finally, you are more likely to develop gum disease as you age. Between 21 and 50, the percentage is 15%. Once you turn 50, the rate shoots up to about 30%. Symptoms to Watch For You may be more likely to develop gingivitis or periodontitis if any of the following is true for you: Someone in your family has had problems with gum disease, indicating that you may be genetically inclined as well. You are female. Hormone changes can make your gums more sensitive than usual. Both men and women experience hormone changes during puberty, but women also deal with hormones during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause. You have been ill, or you’ve developed a chronic illness. Cancer and HIV both affect your immune system, which tries to fight off the infection caused by the unhealthy bacteria. Diabetes affects your blood sugar, which makes you more susceptible to infections. Drugs can affect the amount of saliva in your mouth or the way your gum tissue grows. You have bad habits, such as smoking and not taking good care of your teeth. You are getting older.
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