A lot of people recognize the terms, gingivitis and gum disease, but many of them understand the conditions differently. To some, gum disease seems like an abstract threat, and as long as they keep brushing and flossing every day, it can remain as such. For others, it can seem like one of the biggest immediate threats to their oral health, and one that they’re already taking seriously. The truth is that everyone should take the threat of gum disease seriously, even if they don’t believe they’re immediately threatened by it.
What it means when gingivitis develops
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and therefore, it’s the more minor form of the disease. It develops when oral bacteria gather excessively underneath your gums, and removing this buildup is the key to restoring your good periodontal health. In fact, when it first develops, you may have a small window of reversing it and significantly reducing the threat. Because of this, many people might be fooled into considering gingivitis a minor concern. Yet, it doesn’t take long for the infection in your gums to progress into more serious gum disease, which causes much more significant damage to your periodontal tissues and ligaments.
What happens if you wait it out?
If you don’t think gingivitis is much of a threat, then you may be more likely to wait a while before addressing it. This might be reinforced when it doesn’t seem as though your gingivitis is getting any worse. However, every day that your gums are in the grips of gingivitis, the more damage the infection can cause to your gums and oral health. If you wait long enough, this damage may begin to affect the health and integrity of your jawbone structure, eroding it and making it weaker over time. This destruction of your gums and jawbone are what make severe gum disease, or periodontitis, the leading cause of tooth loss for adults.
What more people should know about gum disease
For people who have to deal with gum disease’s consequences, the truth about what gingivitis can be capable of is obvious. However, knowing this beforehand can often motivate more people to take steps to protect their smiles. For instance, brushing along your gum line when you brush and floss your teeth will help reduce bacteria buildup and the risks of gingivitis. If you notice warning signs, such as red or inflamed gum tissues, then you should focus on improving your hygiene as soon as possible to improve your chances of avoiding severe gum disease.
Learn how to protect your smile from gum disease
Gingivitis doesn’t always seem that serious at first, but given its potential consequences, it’s important to take the warning signs seriously. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213.