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Gingivitis Versus Periodontitis Elk Grove, CA
Gum Disease Elk Grove CA

Gingivitis Versus Periodontitis

Gingivitis and periodontitis are both dental terms that refer to the condition of your gums. More specifically, they are specific stages of gum disease. While they both mean that your gums have been invaded by bacteria and infection, they indicate a certain severity of the infection and are treated differently.

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease begins with the presence of plaque and bacteria along the gum line. When plaque doesn’t get removed from daily brushing and flossing, it begins to harden and irritation the gums. In turn, you may notice bleeding, puffiness and redness throughout your gums. This is the first stage of gum disease, call gingivitis. While your gums are clearly irritated and inflamed during this stage, your teeth are still firmly anchored in their sockets. All damage is within the soft tissues and is easily reversible with better oral hygiene or a deep cleaning from your dentist.

If gingivitis is not addressed, however, the gum disease or infection will spread and worsen. Gingivitis turns into periodontitis without treatment, which is a much more serious condition that includes threat like bone loss and tooth loss. Periodontitis occurs when the inner layers of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth roots. This forms a deep pocket of gum tissue that collect further debris and bacteria, which worsens the infection. While your immune system fights the bacteria growth below the gum line, it often results in bone and tissue destruction around the roots of your teeth. In result, your teeth lose stability and tooth loss becomes a real possibility. This is why gum disease is listed as the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the United States. Periodontitis must be treated aggressively and may even involve oral surgery or laser gum therapy.

Causes and Risk Factors for Gum Disease

While gum disease and periodontitis don’t carry the same level of concern, they are both stages of gum disease and can both be prevented in the same way. Knowing what causes gum disease and learning your risk factors can help you avoid this devastating oral health condition:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain illnesses and diseases (diabetes, cancer, HIV)
  • Medications that cause dry mouth
  • Family history

Detecting Gingivitis Can Prevent Periodontitis

If you want to avoid the serious consequences of periodontitis, it is imperative that you recognize and address the symptoms of gingivitis, or early gum disease. Call Laguna West Dental Care if you notice that your gums are bleeding easily when you brush or floss, or if you experience swelling, tenderness or redness within your gums. In many cases, a professional dental cleaning can restore your gums to optimal health.

Posted on behalf of Laguna West Dental Care in Elk Grove

9098 Laguna Main St Ste 8
Elk Grove, CA 95758

Phone: (916) 683-7300

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Our Patient Reviews

Laguna West Dental Care


Based on 19 reviews

Suzanne B.

As I was walking to my car after my appointment I thought, I sure am happy I come here. I get warm friendly service and gentle, thorough care throughout my visit. Dr. Chan and his staff are the best.

Jennifer B.

We've been so very happy with Dr. You and his staff since we moved to Sacramento in 1985! We've followed him to the current location in Laguna...he and his staff take such good care of all our dental needs. I have no hesitation in recommending their services!

Stephanie O.

In my 65 years on the planet, and hundreds of hours in former dentists' offices, Dr. You and his staff are by far the best I've ever encountered. My very recent crown replacement was 100 percent pain free! All phases of treatment, from removal of the old crown, mold taking and making, to the permanent placement with my brand new well-matched molar, was seamless. I respect and applaud Laguna West Dental Care for taking such talented care of me.

Janet S.

Since retiring, I drive and hour and a half each way to continue to see Dr. You and his entire staff ... and I hate to drive. No better dentist and hygenists in Sacramento and I have tried others over the years. Thank you for a great experience each and every time Laguna West!

Norman H.

In my 50+ years, I've probably had 7 to 8 dentists and have had my share of bad experiences that made me fearful of going to the dentist. But, after switching to Dr. Chan in 1991, I really couldn't be happier and don't dread dental appointments anymore. Dr. Chan is gentle and exceptionally good at giving shots that I can barely feel. He even calls me in the evening after every procedure to make sure I'm doing okay. The staff is friendly and caring and the facilities are nice. Highly recommended.

Carol D.

We've been patients of Dr. You and Dr. Chan since my son was in kindergarten - now a County employee. Everyone on the staff is great. I had one bad experience with a dentist referred by my insurance co. - I'd NEVER see a dentist again without a personal referral. Consider this mine to you -- Laguna West is an excellent choice!