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Gingivitis and Periodontitis – What is the Difference?

A person flossing teeth

Gum disease can make people feel embarrassed and isolated but, according to the CDC, around 47% of Americans have experienced some form of gum disease! The number one problem with gum disease is how uneducated many people are on the subject, especially when it comes to the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis. Here at In Highlands Ranch Perio, we believe that being more educated about your gum health can help you prevent problems in the future!

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis

Gingivitis and periodontitis are both forms of gum disease. Gingivitis is a less severe form of the disease and can be reversed. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and lead to periodontitis. Once it’s reached this point, there will likely be bone loss, meaning that the condition can no longer be reversed.

Gingivitis – Gingivitis is gum inflammation caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. If this plaque isn’t brushed away, it will build up along the gum line, causing irritation and swelling. At this point, you may not be aware that you’re suffering from gingivitis, because it can be painless in the beginning stages. A few symptoms to look out for include:

·       Swollen gums

·       Bright red gum tissue

·       Gums that bleed easily, especially when flossed or brushed

Keep in mind that gingivitis can be reversed, so it’s important to make an appointment as soon as you notice symptoms. The earlier the disease is caught, the easier it is to treat and avoid in the future.

Periodontitis – When gingivitis is allowed to worsen, it eventually progresses into periodontitis. As your gum tissue becomes more inflamed, it will begin to pull away from the teeth. This creates small pockets for the bacteria and plaque to build up inside. Pain and sensitivity will follow, as will bone loss and loosening teeth.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, please contact In Highlands Ranch Perio located in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Posted on Feb 10, 2020

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Our Periodontist

  • Mike Norouzinia, DDS, MS
    Dr. Mike Norouzinia