Denise Newton, a registered dental hygienist, talks about the differences between gingivitis and periodontal disease. She gives advice on how you can prevent either from developing.
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The differences between gingivitis and periodontal disease, gingivitis is reversible. You can get gingivitis under control. You can reverse it and have no symptoms. Gingivitis is in the gums, it’s inflammation, it’s a lot of bleeding. And what it is, is just more bacteria around the gum tissue and untreated gingivitis is actually what’s going to lead to your periodontal disease. Gingivitis just involves the gums whereas periodontal disease involves the bone around the teeth. So, once you’ve got the bacteria in the mouth and you don’t get it cleaned out and you don’t get it under control, the bacteria actually start deteriorating the bone around the teeth and that’s when you get into periodontal disease. Home care is the number one thing to prevent any type of gingival disease. However, a lot of people it’s in their genes, if your mom and dad had bad teeth or had periodontal disease you are at a higher risk of having periodontal disease. And we see a lot, a few children not too many but we’ve got a few patients that have juvenile periodontitis which is periodontal disease in young children. I’ve actually had two patients that had it in their teen years and they say their parents had periodontal diseases and their home care wasn’t what it should be, but most teenagers unfortunately aren’t doing everything that they should do.

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