Dental care is concerned not just with the teeth themselves, but also with the gums and the bone tissue that serve to support the teeth. Treatment of the latter is called periodontics.
Periodontitis and gingivitis are two forms of gum disease. Gingivitis often occurs first and can escalate to become periodontitis. If you suspect that you have gingivitis, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent the disease from becoming more serious.
You may have gingivitis if your gums become swollen, if they turn purple or bright red, or if they give you an itchy sensation. Another indicator of gingivitis is when gums bleed after brushing or using dental floss.
If you develop gingivitis, your dentist will give your teeth a thorough cleaning and advise you on how to best prevent the problem from recurring. Good dental hygiene is essential to keep gingivitis at bay, and your dentist will discuss this with you. Regular brushing and flossing, followed by rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwash, is recommended.
Periodontitis is a more serious condition that can lead to teeth becoming loose through loss of bone tissue. In addition to the symptoms of gingivitis, indications of periodontitis include receding gums, severe bad breath (halitosis), and the space between the teeth and gums becoming enlarged. There may also be a foul, metallic taste present.
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