What are the differences between the signs and symptoms of gingivitis
Gingivitis is an infection caused by bacteria. In approximately 24 hours the natural bacteria in the mouth will multiply and form a sticky, almost invisible, film on the teeth called plaque. If this plaque (biofilm) is not removed by brushing and an effective oral hygiene regime at home then it will develop into calculus (tartar). As the disease progresses various signs and symptoms will begin to become obvious, however some indicators are not so evident to the patient. For this reason it is important to distinguish the difference between signs and symptoms. Periodontal disease that is left untreated can result in the loss of teeth and often the symptoms are painless until the disease has progressed so far and little can be done to save the affected teeth. If you have missing teeth already you can get affordable dental implants in birmingham
|Altered gingival appearance||Gums bleeding while brushing|
|Gums pulling away from the teeth||Red and swollen gums|
|Exposed roots and recessions||Red and swollen gums|
|Periodontal pockets||Tender and sore gums|
|Pus between teeth and gums.||Loose teeth, spaces appearing between teeth|
|Change in the way teeth fit together / a different bite||Halitosis – Bad breath|
Both signs and symptoms are actually something that is abnormal to a healthy person and usually indicate that there is a medical condition developing. The difference between a sign and a symptom however is that a symptom is usually something that a patient experiences and can describe, for example; my gums bleed when I brush my teeth. A sign on the other hand is an observation a periodontist makes upon an examination, a clinical discovery that proves that there is indeed gum disease present. For example a periodontist would notice gingival recession or periodontal pockets.
Do you have gingivitis? This is what you should look for!
It is important to note you may have periodontal disease and not experience any of these symptoms. Periodontal disease is silent and chronic, rarely giving an advanced warning that tissue destruction is taking place. That is why it is important to have regular dental checkups.
SIGN – 1 – Altered gingival appearance
Changes in appearance are usually described according to colour, shape, size, consistency and surface characteristics. Healthy gingivae are pale pink and the edges of the gum line tightly hug the shape of the tooth. Gingival inflammation usually starts between the teeth and gradually spreads around the tooth margin. The infection causes the tissues to become red and swollen and the fine definition and tone of the gingivae is lost, they eventually become smooth and glossy.
SIGN – 2 – Gingival bleeding
Gingival bleeding is probably the most frequent patient complaint. Unfortunately, bleeding is so common that some people may not take it seriously and even believe it to be normal. Bleeding is usually evidence that bacteria is present and an infection has begun. It occurs most frequently while brushing the teeth. Bleeding may also be provoked on eating certain hard foods such as apples. Patients can taste blood and it may even be smelt on the patients breath.
SIGN – 3 – Halitosis – Bad breath and an unpleasant taste
Halitosis is a word that describes bad breath, and it often accompanies gingival disease. Halitosis is a common reason people visit the dentist. The smell originates from blood and poor oral hygiene, and should be distinguished from odours from other sources. Halitosis has a number of causes:
- Residual food deposits especially such things as garlic, curry, onion etc….represent the most common cause of halitosis. For example garlic that is absorbed in the intestines is then taken into the bloodstream and finally exhaled by the lungs, so the odour can be smelt long after the food has been consumed.
- Bacterial infections in the respiratory tract, nose, sinuses, tonsils and lungs can cause an embarrassing smell as can diseases of the digestive tract.
- Mouth odour is common upon waking up and between meals and is associated with food stagnation and reduced salivary slow.
- Metabolic diseases such as uraemia and diabetes give characteristic smells, such as the odour as acetone in the case of diabetics with an increase in blood sugar levels.