Skip ToContent
Main Content

Periodontitis and Gingivitis – What’s the Difference?

3 happy women smilingAround 47% of adult Americans suffer from some level of gum disease. This is almost half of us! The main problem with gum disease is that most people are uneducated about what it is, what causes it, and how to avoid it. One of the most common confusions results from the difference between the levels of gum disease. Many people use the terms “periodontitis” and “gingivitis” interchangeably, but there are important differences between the two.

Differences Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gingivitis and periodontitis are both a form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gingivitis is less severe and can be reversed. However, periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease and can’t be reversed because at this level, there’s already bone loss.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is gum inflammation caused by having a buildup of plaque on your teeth. You may not even be aware that you are suffering from gingivitis, as it’s painless in the early stages. Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red gums
  • Gums that bleed easily, especially when flossed or brushed

It’s important to come in as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. Gingivitis can be treated and reversed before any real damage is done. But the earlier it can be caught, the better.

Periodontitis

If gingivitis goes untreated for too long, it will eventually develop into periodontitis. As your gums become more and more inflamed, they will begin to pull up and away from the teeth. This will create pockets, where bacteria will start to build up. This will cause pain and sensitivity, sores in the mouth, pain when you chew or loosening teeth.

If caught early enough, gingivitis may be as easy to treat as a stricter brushing and flossing routine. However, if you let it go untreated, periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, please contact your general dentist for a checkup and a cleaning.

Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we know how important gum health is to the overall health of your teeth and mouth. To contact our office, please call Endodontic Specialists with locations in both Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Posted on Jun 3, 2019

Share:

Archives

Jan 11, 2021, 12:08 PM
Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry. Less than three percent of all the dentist complete the additional education…
Dec 29, 2020, 7:03 AM
People often get confused between dentists and endodontists; most believe that they’re the same thing. That isn’t true.
Dec 14, 2020, 11:53 AM
At Syrpes & Pangborn, we have several endodontists, including Dr. Kennedy, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Ross, Dr. Berkhoff, Dr. Thompson,…
Nov 23, 2020, 7:40 PM
In orthodontics, your "bite" refers to the way your upper and lower jaws and teeth fit together. A malocclusion (which means…
Nov 9, 2020, 6:57 PM
Numerous things can cause stains on the tooth teeth, and these stains can come in various colors. Brown and yellow stains are…
Oct 26, 2020, 10:56 AM
Gum pockets are the gaps between the teeth and the gum tissue surrounding them. A small ruler, called a probe, is used to…
Oct 12, 2020, 8:30 PM
If you experience a dental emergency, the dentist is the first person you should call. Most dentists set time aside in their…
Sep 28, 2020, 7:52 PM
If the bones and tissue supporting the teeth begin to erode, food debris and harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream,…
Sep 14, 2020, 6:48 PM
Geographic tongue is a benign tongue condition that can cause geographic-looking patches on the tongue. Doctors aren't sure…
Aug 24, 2020, 3:04 PM
Choosing a dental office for your family can be an overwhelming or confusing task. This is made even more difficult because…