Skip to main content

The Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

The Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the top oral health conditions in the United States. It’s characterized by gum tissue inflammation and infection, and it poses a serious risk to your teeth and your overall oral health.

Gum disease starts with mild inflammation called gingivitis. If it’s left untreated, it progresses to periodontitis, which can cause serious problems like bone deterioration and tooth loss. 

Fortunately, treatment has the power to prevent and even reverse the damage from gum disease. At Arcadia Perio, our periodontal surgical specialists, J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, and our team specialize in the most advanced gum disease treatments.

Here’s what you need to know about the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis, and what to do about them.

Gingivitis: early-stage gum disease

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It develops when bacteria from food turns to sticky plaque on your teeth. The bacteria irritates and infects the gum tissue around the bases of your teeth.

Symptoms of gingivitis include:

Gingivitis damages your gums and teeth over time. Treating gingivitis can effectively stop the infection and even reverse some of the damage to your oral health. But if it’s left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis — a much more serious infection.

Periodontitis: advanced gum disease

Periodontitis is a serious form of gum disease. It develops when gingivitis goes untreated and the infection gets worse. Periodontitis continues damaging your gum tissue, and it can spread to your jawbone.

Periodontitis causes all the same symptoms as gingivitis, including swelling, tender gums, and bleeding when you brush or floss. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:

Once gum disease progresses from gingivitis to periodontitis, the more severe damage can’t be reversed. Fortunately, treatment can stop disease progression and help preserve your oral health.

What to do about gum disease

While gum disease is common, it’s almost always preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental care.

Everyone should go to the dentist twice a year for routine cleanings. These cleanings are the best way to remove bacteria and plaque buildup, which is the leading cause of gum disease.

Our team checks for signs of gingivitis at your appointments. If you have gingivitis, we may recommend deep cleaning to help reverse damage.

If you have periodontitis, we offer a range of specialized treatments, like: 

These treatments address decay, treat infection, and stimulate healing to help prevent further damage from gum disease.

When it comes to your oral health care, early intervention is important. Find out more about the warning signs of gum disease and get a full checkup at Arcadia Perio. Contact us online or call our Arcadia, California, office at 626-662-1084 for an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Your Chronic Bad Breath Trying to Tell You Something?

Chronic bad breath is embarrassing, but did you know it could be a sign of an underlying health issue? Learn some of the most common causes of chronic bad breath and how dental treatment could be the key to a fresher, more confident smile.

4 Benefits of a Dental Implant

A dental implant is a permanent solution for a missing tooth, and it offers lots of benefits over traditional options like bridges or dentures. Learn how dental implants work and find out if this revolutionary dental restoration is right for you.

Understanding Your Anesthesia and Sedation Options

Is dental anxiety keeping you from getting the dental care you need? It’s time to learn about your dental anesthesia and sedation options. With three different types available, there’s a way to finally feel relaxed in the dentist’s chair.

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Have you noticed your gums shrinking away from your teeth? Did your dentist tell you your gums are receding? It’s a common problem, and it’s normal to wonder why it’s happening. Learn the common causes and find treatment here.