Gum Disease FAQs
What is gingivitis? What is gum disease?
Is this why I have bleeding gums when brushing?Gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontal disease are all terms used to describe forms of bacterial growth in your mouth. Typically, dentists refer to gingivitis as the first stage of bacterial infection in your gums, while gum disease—or periodontitis—is the more advanced stage of the condition. Bacteria are normally in our bodies, and most cause no harm. However, in some individuals, the bad bacteria in the plaque that forms on our teeth thrive in the warm, moist mouth environment, causing significant irritation of the gums. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, while in periodontitis, the bacteria actually begin to break down the bone and connective tissues of your teeth and gums.
What are the signs and symptoms of gingivitis?Gingivitis is inflammation of gums. The main symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen gums, and bleeding when tooth brushing. This mild form of gum disease can be reversed through daily brushing and flossing, along with regular professional dental care.
What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?The symptoms of periodontitis/gum disease include: red, swollen gums; bleeding during and after brushing; frequent bad breath; receding gums; and loose, shifting teeth. Periodontitis is disease of the gums, a more serious concern because the gums actually pull away from the teeth, leaving spaces ("pockets") between teeth and gums where bacteria can thrive.
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