What Is The Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Gum diease

There are four different stages of gum disease. What stage are you?

There are two types of diseases which commonly affect the gums. These are gingivitis and periodontitis. Together, both conditions are referred to as periodontal disease. Periodontal (or gum) disease is essentially an inflammation and infection which harms and destroys all of the tissues which support teeth. These include the gums, periodontal ligaments, and tooth sockets. Fortunately, these fairly common afflictions can be handled with the proper care.


This mild form of gum disease can lead to the far more serious periodontitis and is characterized by red and irritated gums. It is quite common, with roughly half the population having gingivitis on four or more teeth. However, certain people are at higher risk for it. These include those with poor dental hygiene habits, minorities, smokers, uncontrolled diabetics, the elderly, substance abusers, those with poor nutrition, pregnant women, those who do not get regular dental care, using certain medications, and those with weakened immune systems. Primarily gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene allowing plaque to build up on teeth. If you have gingivitis, you will have bleeding, tender, swollen, shiny, or red gums, mouth sores, and bad breath.


If gingivitis is not treated it can lead to periodontitis, which is a far more serious condition. Periodontitis can lead to the destruction of the mouth bones, gums, tissue, and teeth eventually. If plaque spends too much time below the gum line, toxins can cause the tissues and bones that support the teeth to break down. This causes the gums to pull away from teeth and form pockets which get infected and also increases a sufferer’s chances of stroke or heart attack. There are four stages of increasing severity, and the symptoms include swollen, tender, red or purple gums, receded gums which make teeth look longer, spaces between teeth, loose teeth, pus around the teeth and gums, bad breath, and a bad taste in your mouth. Periodontitis can be avoided with solid oral hygiene, and may require oral surgery to be corrected depending on its severity.  

Get In Touch With Annapolis Dental Care Today

If you want to find out more about dental health during your pregnancy or to schedule your next visit, please contact Annapolis Family Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! We can give you more information or schedule your appointment. Our diligent knowledge of all dental treatments and extensive experience in all fields of dentistry, ensure Annapolis Dental is best suited to care for your oral health. You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016 at 5:48 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.