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Gingivitis or periodontitis? Find out the seven differences between the two conditions
Gingivitis or periodontitis? Find out the differences. Gingivitis and periodontitis: let’s find out what are the differences between these two diseases of the oral cavity.
Gingivitis: what is it?
Gingivitis is the most common dental disease. It is an infection of the mouth that affects about 90 percent of the world population to a greater or lesser extent and consists of the colonization of the gums by some particular species of bacteria.
These bacteria are not part of the normal flora of the mouth and develop into the well-known bacterial plaque surrounding the teeth. In principle it is not a contagious disease, but it is not excluded that the bacteria that cause it can be transmitted from person to person through saliva.
When the responsible bacteria (mostly Porphyromonas gingivalis) attack the gums, they lose their characteristic pale color and turn bright red. Over time, the infection can destabilize the teeth and make them dance a little.
Secondary symptoms can be (obvious) inflammation of the gums, bad breath, a tendency to bleed when we brush our teeth and sensitivity to cold.
Periodontitis: what is it?
Broadly speaking, periodontitis (o periodontitis) can be considered as a complication of gingivitis. In fact, it is gingivitis that is taken to the extreme. Basically it is gingivitis that has gone so far that the bacteria that are responsible for it begin to attack even the bones of the jaws.
The clinical signs are more or less the same as gingivitis, but much more severe. And the risk is not only that of losing teeth, but that the bacteria responsible for the disease can pass into the blood and thus infect other organs, such as the heart, lungs and even the brain (it is assumed that in some people genetically predisposed to periodontitis may increase both the risk and the rate at which Alzheimer’s develops).
Having drawn this general picture, let us now schematize the differences between the two diseases in seven points.
One. Periodontitis is a complication of gingivitis
Periodontitis ultimately develops when we do nothing to counteract gingivitis. If we deal with and treat gingivitis, we will never run the risk of developing the most serious disease.
Two. Periodontitis is more severe than gingivitis
We have seen what the symptoms of gingivitis are; redness of the gums, bad breath, sensitivity to cold, bleeding when brushing. However, with this disease, which in itself is not serious, one does not go beyond this.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a serious pathology, both in itself and due to the complications that can derive from it. It causes pain, a severe visual change in the appearance of the mouth, the probable loss of teeth, and even possible infections of vital organs, including the brain.
Three. The damages of gingivitis are reversible, those of periodontitis are not.
With gingivitis, if you act promptly, the damage can be remedied, with periodontitis, however, it is not possible to go back.
Four. Gingivitis is more common than periodontitis
The less serious disease is much more common than the more serious one, also because with gingivitis most people go to the dentist promptly and this prevents the disease from taking its course.
Five. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss, gingivitis does not
In gingivitis, only the gums are affected, while the bone that supports the teeth remains intact. In periodontitis, however, the bacteria reach the alveolar area of the bone and “eat” it.
Six. A blood infection can result from periodontitis, not from gingivitis
If we let gingivitis run its course undisturbed, we will eventually have periodontitis and in this case the bacteria that cause it can pass into the blood and from there to other organs, such as the lungs, heart and brain.
Seven. Gingivitis is treated with dental hygiene, periodontitis with a scraping
Gingivitis can be combated with a simple ten-minute cleaning of the teeth and daily brushing. For periodontitis, on the other hand, a much more painful scraping and, above all, the administration of antibiotics are required.
In his pocket a degree in food science, on his fingers a great passion for writing. I am particularly interested in the themes of recycling and do-it-yourself, but I like to write about any subject, as long as it is curious and engaging. and I like photography and travel.
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