Gingivitis, Periodontitis & Gum Disease | Chapel Hill Dental

Gum Disease


The Basics

Gum disease and periodontal disease are interchangeable terms. Both describe the same thing: an infection of the gums or their supporting structures.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. At this point, the plaque in your mouth affects your gums to the point that your gums are inflamed and may even bleed when you floss. If left alone, the plaque can harden and turn into tartar.

The good news is that our team at Chapel Hill Dental can help you get rid of your gingivitis. By coming in for your regular dental cleaning appointments, and by consistently brushing and flossing at home, together we can eliminate the plaque and tartar before it's too late.

Periodontitis is the later stage of gum disease, when the plaque and tartar have made their way below the surface of the gums. Once there, the harmful bacteria has free reign to attack the bones and tissues that support your teeth. The damage caused during periodontitis is irreversible, so best not to reach this stage.

What Are The Signs of Periodontitis?

You may have periodontitis if:

  • You've noticed your gums receding
  • You're experiencing pain when chewing or biting into food
  • You've started to notice gaps forming between your teeth and your gums
  • One or more of your teeth are becoming loose
  • You have consistent bad breath

At Chapel Hill Dental our dentists will be happy to see you and help assess your situation. If you require the help of a gum specialist (called a periodontist), then we will help you arrange an appointment so you can get the care you need.