Our mouths are such an important part of our daily lives – eating, speaking, smiling, even sometimes breathing – so it’s at least as important to be sure to take care of it. But life perhaps does get in the way sometimes of our daily brushing routines, or our daily flossing routines, or our twice-yearly dental checkups, right? If we are not careful, though, gum disease can set in. Learning the terms we use when we discuss gum disease will help you understand how to better take care of your gums and mouth.
Gum Disease Terms
Gum disease itself is called periodontitis, and generally is diagnosed when gums are swollen due to a bacterial infection. If the condition is in its early stages, it is called gingivitis, where the gums have become inflamed around the teeth. Gingivitis and periodontitis usually start with something called plaque, which is a colorless build -of bacteria between your teeth, which can be eliminated through thorough brushing of your teeth and especially with daily flossing. Otherwise, the plaque will turn into tartar, also called calculus, a yellowy calcified substance that becomes stuck to your teeth and which simple flossing will likely no longer remove. Left untreated, tartar can lead to the development of gingivitis, and can also lead to halitosis, or bad breath.
When examining your teeth and gums for periodontitis, we may refer to your periodontium, which is the special tissue that supports your teeth and keeps them in place in your jaw. If your condition is advanced you may be suffering acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, a form of necrotizing periodontal disease, which usually presents with bleeding gums and severe gum pain.
If you think you may have a form of periodontitis or gingivitis, call our team and we will be happy to help. Visit our office for a dental checkup. We can advise you on your best options for a healthy mouth – your eating, speaking, and smiling depend on it.