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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

SIGNSSYMPTOMS
Altered gingival appearanceGums bleeding while brushing
Gums pulling away from the teeth Red and swollen gums
Exposed roots and recessionsRed and swollen gums
Periodontal pocketsTender 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
table showing the signs and symptoms of gingivitis

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.
florida probe is a periodontal probe used to diagnose gum disease

periodontal probe used to diagnose gum disease

 

How is periodontal disease diagnosed? What are gum pockets?

During a consultation or routine check up the dentist inspects the colour and firmness of the gums. Teeth are tested for looseness. The bite is checked. At some point, a small measuring instrument the periodontal probe – is gently inserted between the tooth and gum to measure the depth of the gum pockets. Periodontal Pockets are spaces between the tooth and gum, the deeper the gum pocket the worse the problem. This “periodontal” exam should be done at frequent intervals for all adults, especially when there is a history of periodontal disease in the immediate family. X-rays should be taken at appropriate times to evaluate changes in the bone supporting the teeth

Broad definition of the stages of periodontal disease
*Warning Signs*

There are few if any early warning signs, but as the disease progresses, the signs and symptoms become more obvious.

  • Red swollen gums that may bleed easily
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Tall looking teeth (Recession)
  • Loose teeth (Mobility)

 

HEALTHY GUMS AND TEETH

periodontal chart healthy gumsimage of healthy gum diagnosis

  1. Coral pink gums
  2. Gums hug teeth tightly
  3. No bleeding
  4. Periodontal Pockets 1-3mm deep

FIRST STAGE DIAGNOSIS: GINGIVITIS

periodontal chart gingivitisimage of gingivitis diagnosis

  1. Gums become red/swollen that may bleed easily
  2. Warning – This stage is not always obvious
  3. Periodontal Pockets 1-4mm deep

SECOND STAGE DIAGNOSIS : EARLY PERIODONTITIS

periodontal chart early periodontitisimage of early periodontitis diagnosis

  1. Periodontal Pockets form as gums separate from teeth
  2. Periodontal Pockets 4-5mm deep

THIRD STAGE DIAGNOSIS : MODERATE PERIODONTITIS

periodontal chart moderate periodontitisimage of moderate periodontitis diagnosis

  1. Periodontal Pockets deepen as more bone supporting the tooth is lost
  2. Periodontal Pockets become difficult to clean as they deepen
  3. Periodontal Pockets 5-6mm deep

FOURTH STAGE DIAGNOSIS : SEVERE PERIODONTITIS

periodontal chart severe periodontitisimage of severe periodontitis diagnosis

  1. More than 50% of the bone supporting the tooth has been lost
  2. Teeth loosen or may need to be extracted
  3. Periodontal Pockets 6-10mm deep

patient education stages of gum disease

BPI Dental use the leading high tech Florida Probe system for diagnosis of gum disease and periodontal pocket depth

Dental research continues to solidify the link between periodontal (gum) disease and your overall health. Although periodontal disease is often difficult to detect in the early stages without a periodontal exam, it can be very easy and painless to treat. If not treated in a timely manner, periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and low birth-weight babies.
We are excited to let our patients know that we utilize the Florida Probe® System as an advanced diagnostic tool for the tracking and monitoring of this disease. This system, which utilizes an automated, computerized probe, has proven to be more accurate and consistent than traditional methods of assessing periodontal disease and provides both you and the dental team with advanced information.

Software automatically tracks good and bad changes in your periodontal health over time and creates a printable periodontal chart that visually illustrates these changes to enhance understanding.

 

Florida Probe system also calculates your risk of periodontal infection

Their new Risk Assessment Screening tool calculates your risk of periodontal infection or re-infection based upon your specific risk factors, which include smoking habits, systemic health, oral hygiene, medications you may be taking, genetics, age and other contributing factors. You are assigned a high, medium, or low risk score based on combining these risk factors and your periodontal exam data to date.

You will leave with a clear picture of your gum health and a better understanding of your treatment options. Florida Probe®, helping to protect your beautiful smile for a lifetime!

sample image of periodontal chart

Do you have periodontal disease? The diagnosis?

If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bleeding, discomfort, receding gums and tooth loss. More that 50% of Americans over 30 have some gingivitis and more than 33% (35 million) have periodontitis. Periodontal disease affects 3 out of 4 people at some point in life. Dental research had linked periodontal disease to and increase rate of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and pre-term and low birth weight babies. The Florida Probe has been designed has a high tech instrument used in the war against periodontal disease. Speak with your dentist about routine periodontal probing, maintenance of deep pockets and ways to improve your home care. Remember that early diagnosis is the key to maintaining your oral health and preventing serious systemic problems.

Extracts of this text have been adapted and used under copyright of Florida Probe Corporation. BPI Dental acknowledge and credit the author (s) of the original work which is used and / or appears in parts of this work. Link to source material http://www.floridaprobe.com