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When adults lose teeth, the number one reason is periodontal (gum) disease. It is critical to understand the language when discussing periodontitis (gum) disease, but what exactly are the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis?

Gingivitis describes the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gums. At this stage, bacteria is growing, but a professional cleaning by the dental hygienist can remove the plaque and tartar. With consistent daily maintenance at home, you can beat back gum disease. Bleeding gums may occur when brushing, but the teeth are still firmly lodged in their sockets. There is no tissue loss or damage yet, neither has there been any damage to the bone at this point.

Periodontitis is full-blown gum disease. The first indication that the gum and bone is incrementally pulling away from the teeth. Decay has advanced to this point because no action was taken during the gingivitis stage. Now, without immediate treatment tooth loss is in the future. It becomes more difficult to get to the plaque as it continually builds up below the gum line, making pockets where debris and food particles collect and become infected. As gum disease progresses, the pockets get deeper and damage to the tissue, teeth and bone continues unabated. As the tissue holding the teeth is destroyed the teeth become loose and tooth loss can occur.

If you have bleeding gums or are worried about potential gum disease, come and see Dr. Joel R. Bingham for an evaluation. Please contact Premier Dental Care to make an appointment at: 208-466-6161 , or come by our office in Nampa, Idaho.