Nearly half of all American adults have some form of gum disease. But there’s a big difference between gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, and periodontitis, which is a term used to refer to more advanced cases of gum disease.

What is the difference between periodontitis vs. gingivitis? Poulos & Somers will discuss the basics of each type of gum disease below, explain common signs and symptoms of each one, and help you learn more the difference between periodontitis vs. gingivitis and compare the two. 

Gingivitis Is Mild, Reversible, And Causes No Permanent Damage

Gingivitis is the term that’s used to refer to the first stage of gum disease. This stage of gum disease is the most common, and it does not cause serious or permanent harm to your mouth. 

In gingivitis, bacteria-filled plaque and tartar have begun building up between your gums and your teeth, and attacking your gums, causing mild symptoms, but not yet damaging the gums or the support structures of your teeth.

With excellent at-home oral hygiene and periodontal care such as deep cleaning (scaling & root planing) at Poulos & Somers, gingivitis can be completely eliminated, restoring your oral health. Compared with gingivitis, this is not possible with later stages of periodontitis, which is why immediate care is so important.

Common Signs Of Gingivitis

Since it’s the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis has relatively mild side effects and symptoms vs periodontitis. These usually include:

  • Bleeding easily when brushing and flossing the teeth and gums
  • Gum swelling and inflammation
  • Gums that looks dark, red, or discolored
  • Bad breath (halitosis)

Periodontitis Is Serious, Irreversible, And Causes Permanent Harm To Gums & Teeth

The term “periodontitis” is used to refer to more serious cases of gum disease that have caused permanent, irreparable damage to your gums and teeth. It’s sometimes split into two categories, with “periodontitis” referring to less serious cases, and “advanced periodontitis” referring to serious, advanced cases of gum disease. 

Periodontitis can never be completely eliminated. However, it can be controlled and its negative effects can be halted with proper intervention, such as deep cleanings and periodontal surgeries like pinhole gum surgery, gingival grafting, and LANAP. Good at-home oral hygiene is also essential for keeping it under control.

In addition to this, you will need to see a dentist regularly for periodontal maintenance. This is usually done every 3-4 months, and is similar to a deep cleaning. These appointments help keep gum disease in check, and ensure it does not begin to worsen. 

Common Signs Of Periodontitis 

Periodontitis has much more severe, painful, and serious symptoms compared to gingivitis. Along with the signs of gingivitis mentioned above, you may notice:

  • Gum recession that makes your teeth look longer
  • Pain when chewing and biting
  • Gum and tooth sensitivity to heat and cold
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • Pus building up between your teeth and gums
  • A change in how the teeth fit together or loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

Get Help For Gum Disease As Soon As You Can – Come To Our Office

Whether you have gingivitis or a more serious case of periodontitis, immediate periodontal care from our doctors is essential for protecting your oral health and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. 

With the right treatment, you can eliminate gingivitis completely and halt the progression of periodontitis, eliminating the symptoms of gum disease and preserving your oral health.

So don’t wait. If you recognize any of the above symptoms and believe that you may have gum disease, contact Poulos & Somers online or call today at (303) 832-4867. We provide expert gum care throughout the Golden Triangle, Capitol Hill, and Downtown Denver.