Logo of 4 Squares Dentistry, The Multispeciality Dental Clinic
Call us Now
the logo and brand name of 4Squares Dentistry placed at top left corner with the text 'Understanding Gingivitis and Periodontitis in Detail' below the logo, the contact details for 4Squares Dentistry, Medavakkam and Gowrivakkam at the bottom left and 2 images of teeth, one affected by gingivitis(gum infection) and the other by periodontitis(advanced gum disease) on the right
December 28, 2021

Understanding Periodontitis & Gingivitis in Detail

Gum Diseases: Bringing Them Under the Scanner

How often have you noticed your gums while brushing your teeth? How often have you cared for that part of your mouth that holds your teeth in place and contributes to a great smile?

Statistics say that nearly 47.2% of all adults aged thirty and above have some form of gum disease. Another interesting statistic says that gum diseases (or periodontal diseases) increase with age. 70.1% of adults above 65 years are said to have periodontal diseases. Men are more susceptible to gum diseases than women, with statistics standing at 56.4% men versus 38.4% women. These numbers underline the prevalence of gum diseases and the lack of gum care.

In this article, experts from 4 Squares Dentistry, the renowned dental clinics in Medavakkam and dental clinic in Gowrivakkam, explain periodontal diseases, the causes, and symptoms. Read on further to increase your awareness about these dental diseases.

Also Read: Cosmetic Dental Treatments For A Smile Makeover

Gingivitis & Periodontitis: A Closer Look

Gum diseases are of two types: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Very often, people mistake these diseases to be the same. Both diseases affect the gums. However, some characteristics differentiate them.

An in-depth explanation of each disease will help you understand the details.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a more common and milder form of gum disease. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque in the areas between the teeth, leading to inflammation of the gums. Plaque is a sticky, odourless, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth when saliva mixes with food and fluids.

Dental plaque starts forming on the teeth a few hours after food intake. This sticky fluid contains bacteria, which is why it is so important to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Improper brushing leads to plaque accumulation, which leads to gum diseases.

Signs and symptoms of Gingivitis

Healthy gums are pale pink, firm to the touch, and fit snuggly around each tooth. However, when Gingivitis sets in, your gums exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Puffy gums that bleed easily
  • Random bleeding from the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Receding and tender gums

Despite irritated and bleeding gums, gum recession does not occur until later stages of periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Methods of treatment for Gingivitis

The main objective of treating Gingivitis is to minimise inflammation and curb the disease from worsening further. The treatment option includes:

  • Maintenance of oral hygiene through practices such as brushing and flossing.
  • Professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tarter.
  • Use of mouthwash containing chlorhexidine to curb oral bacteria.
  • Fixing dental restorations that contribute to Gingivitis.

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum infection that occurs due to the accumulation of tartar on the teeth, close to the gum line. Tartar is a hardened plaque that is rough, porous, and difficult to remove. Periodontitis can destroy the gum tissues and the underlying bone structure that support the teeth. Left untreated, it can result in irreversible gum damage and tooth loss. The main reason for Periodontitis is very poor oral health and hygiene. This gum disease shows characteristic symptoms such as:

  • Swollen and severely bleeding gums
  • Sensitive and tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gumline
  • Teeth that change positions
  • Pain and  sensitivity  during chewing
  • Visible gum pockets

Does Gingivitis progress to Periodontitis? Yes, it does. Untreated Gingivitis leads to more accumulation of plaque. When the bacteria in the plaque release toxins, it leads to severe inflammation. The inflammation, in turn, triggers a chronic inflammatory response, which destroys the gums and bone tissues.

The damaged gums pull away from the teeth, creating gum pockets that are very conducive for bacteria to cause more damage. As the tissue damage worsens, the gum pockets deepen, causing the teeth to loosen and drop off.

Treatments for Periodontitis

Periodontitis is advanced gum disease. Hence it requires more aggressive treatment methods than those meant for Gingivitis. As always, prevention is the key to staving off periodontal diseases. However, with Periodontitis, your dentist may opt for surgical or non-surgical treatment methods, depending on the severity of the disease.

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Scaling- To remove tartar and plaque accumulation from your teeth.
  • Root planing- To discourage the further buildup of tartar and remove bacterial byproducts that contribute to the inflammation.
  • Antibiotics- To control infection and eliminate the harmful oral bacteria that worsen the condition.

Surgical Treatments

Surgical treatments may be the only choice to treat advanced stages of Periodontitis. Your dentist may suggest:

  • Flap surgery

Tiny incisions are made to lift back the gum tissues and expose the roots for more effective scaling and root planing.
Bone grafting

Small fragments of your bone or synthetic bone are attached to hold your tooth in place and prevent tooth loss.

  • Soft tissue grafts

A small piece of tissue is removed from the palate and attached to the affected gums. Sometimes tissues from another donor source may also be used.

  • Guided tissue regeneration

A bio-compatible fabric is attached between the existing bone and the tooth to prevent excessive tissue from entering the healing area. This treatment promotes the healing and regeneration of bone tissues.

  • Tissue-stimulating proteins

A special protein-rich gel is applied to the damaged tooth root to stimulate the growth of healthy bones and gum tissues.

Causes & Risk Factors of Periodontal Diseases

The main culprit behind Gingivitis and Periodontitis is poor oral hygiene practices. Improper brushing and flossing lead to residual sugar and carbohydrates in your mouth leading to plaque accumulation. The bacteria in the plaque feed off the residual sugars and release waste byproducts that can irritate your gums and cause inflammation.

There are additional factors that cause gum inflammation, such as:

  • Prolonged medication intake reduces the formation of saliva, which normally helps clean the teeth and control bacteria.
  • Intake of excessive carbohydrates and sugar-rich foods that contribute to plaque accumulation.
  • Vitamin C deficiency leads to unhealthy gums.
  • Hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy that make gums more susceptible to plaque-related inflammation.

The contributing risk factors that worsen Gingivitis and Periodontitis include:

  • Smoking and chewing of tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Cancer-related therapies
  • Steroid intake
  • Naturally misaligned teeth
  • Stress

Prevention Of Gingivitis & Periodontitis For A Lifetime

Consistent oral hygiene practices are the only simple ways to prevent Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Good oral hygiene can prevent the formation and accumulation of plaque. Without plaque, there is no risk of any gum disease.

All you need to do is:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Avoid cigarettes and tobacco
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Gingivitis is reversible, and the early stages of Periodontitis are easier to treat and control. In both cases, you need to maintain oral hygiene and make dental visits a part of your annual routine.

To schedule your dental appointments at 4 Squares Dentistry, contact us today!


Our Branches
Medavakkam

6/13, First Floor,
Velachery main road,
Medavakkam, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu - 600100.

Gowriwakkam

141-168, Velachery Rd,
New Kunagkurichi, Gowriwakkam,
Sembakkam, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu - 600117.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent posts

June 17, 2022
8 Myths About the Root Canal Procedure Dispelled

Most people cringe at the mention of the words 'root canal'. Root canals have gained a bad reputation over the years, mostly through myths that have been created around them. In reality, the root canal procedure plays an important role in ensuring dental health. It removes degenerative bacteria that cause your teeth and gums to […]

Read More
May 20, 2022
Common Dental Problems in Summer You Can Easily Avoid

The summer is a time for vacations and endless fun for kids. People usually time trips to the park, beach, or foreign countries during summer vacations. These trips bring in temporary changes in lifestyle and food habits. Such a change can lead to dental problems if one is not careful. This article talks about the […]

Read More
April 28, 2022
How to Determine Dental Emergencies & Prevent Them

Have you wondered what will happen if you ignore a dental problem? It increases the need for extensive treatment and the risk of permanent damage. But it is essential to understand the difference between emergency dental situations and a general dental issue that one can resolve by giving it some time. Emergency dental problems can […]

Read More
March 20, 2022
Why Are Dental Check-ups Important?

Most of us fend off the very idea of going to the dentist unless we are suffering from unbearable pain or discomfort. The notion that dental check-ups are inconvenient or expensive holds many of us back, and we develop serious dental anomalies as a result. Experts recommend that it is important to have a dental […]

Read More
Our Categories
Top