Do you know how to tell if you have gingivitis or periodontitis? They both have similar symptoms, but only a professional examination from a periodontist in Houston can determine how far along gum disease is.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is often characterized by puffy or swollen gums and in many cases bleeding from the gums.
Periodontal disease is generally worse than gingivitis and is usually noted by gums that are painful and changing color.
But how can you know for certain which you have?
Periodontists in Houston Check for Pockets
During a checkup or after coming in with symptoms of gum disease, your Houston periodontist will check for pockets under the gum line using a dental probe.
The deeper the pockets are, the farther along the gum disease is.
If the pockets are shallow, you most likely just have gingivitis, which in and of itself is a nuisance, but easily treatable.
Gingivitis Treatment by a Periodontist in Houston
After a visual examination, your periodontist will perform a good cleaning of your teeth, especially under the gum line.
Bacteria that congregate under the gum line cause gum disease. Effectively clearing them out is the only way to stop gum disease progression.
Your periodontist or dentist also checks for cavities and ill-fitting dental implants. Poorly fitting crowns and bridges can contribute to gum disease.
Once all that is complete, they provide you with detailed instructions on how to combat gingivitis at home.
Gingivitis Treatment at Home
Home treatment for gingivitis is comprised mainly of vigilant and effective brushing and rinsing.
When bacteria collects inside your mouth, it leads to oral health issues including gingivitis. Clearing it all out effectively and regularly are the keys to successful treatment of gingivitis.
When brushing your teeth:
- Use a soft bristled tooth brush
- Brush and floss twice per day
- Place the brush at a 45° angle against the gum line and massage the gums with a back and forth motion
- Move the brush back and forth, up and down in short strokes to clean all surfaces of your teeth, including chewing surfaces
- Brush for about 2 minutes using these techniques
- Use a mouthrinse to aid in killing bacteria that you can’t easily reach
Follow these instructions and your gingivitis should resolve itself within a few days.