Board Certified Periodontist, Dr. Scott O. Kissel

What Is The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontal Disease?

a graphic image showing the stages of gum disease

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Beautiful young woman looking casual and smilingWhether you’ve heard the terms “gingivitis” and “periodontal disease” from toothpaste ads or from your general dentist, you may be wondering if the two words are interchangeable. They’re not. Gingivitis is actually the first stage of periodontal disease. And if left untreated, it can progress to a more serious stage of periodontal disease called periodontitis.

All About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation or swelling of the gums and often indicates that gum disease, or periodontitis, could develop if interventions don’t take place. However, it’s important to be aware that just because you have gingivitis doesn’t mean that you will automatically end up with periodontitis. Call New York City periodontist Dr. Kissel at the first signs of gingivitis so you can stop periodontal disease before it progresses.

When New York City oral health patients have bacteria in their mouths that lead to excessive buildup of plaque, gingivitis occurs. While everyone has bacteria in their mouths, it’s often the lack of proper dental hygiene that causes the major buildup of plaque and for gingivitis to develop. This leads to gums that are tender, red, swollen and often bleed during brushing or flossing.

If you see signs of gingivitis, be sure to contact periodontist Dr. Kissel to schedule an appointment. During his examination of your mouth, he will be able to identify the best way to care for and reverse your case of gingivitis before it becomes periodontitis. Many times, at-home treatments of practicing proper oral hygiene including brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using anti-bacterial mouthwash once a day are sufficient to reverse gingivitis. Sometimes, a cleaning intervention by Dr. Kissel using microscopic technology to see and clean the teeny tiny places in between your teeth is needed to treat gingivitis.

Untreated Gingivitis Can Progress to a Stage of Periodontal Disease Called Periodontitis

When left untreated, gingivitis can become a more serious stage of periodontal disease for New York City residents called periodontitis. Periodontitis means there is an infection in the gums that is causing the gums to detach from the teeth. This leaves the teeth and tooth roots vulnerable to bacteria that lead to infection.

Periodontitis cannot be corrected with an at-home treatment and requires more extensive therapy from a trained periodontist like Dr. Kissel in order to save your teeth and reverse your disease. Dr. Kissel offers the most state-of-the-art non surgical solutions for treating periodontitis. This is a huge game changer, as untreated periodontitis can lead to tooth loss or teeth that require extractions.

As mentioned above, periodontitis is usually caused by poor dental hygiene and untreated gingivitis, but can also be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Changes in hormones
  • Autoimmune diseases such as HIV
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Some medications

The Importance of Practicing Proper Oral Hygiene

In order to avoid gingivitis and periodontitis altogether, New York City residents should practice good oral hygiene daily by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwash once a day. Once diagnosed with periodontal disease, you should also visit Dr. Kissel every three months for regular check-ups. 

Call Periodontist Dr. Kissel To Schedule Your Evaluation Today

If you’ve been diagnosed with any stage of periodontal disease, be sure you call Dr. Kissel today so that you can get back to a healthy mouth quickly. You can reach his office by calling (212) 702-9088 today.

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