Gingivitis Vs Periodontitis: How The Gum Diseases Differ

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, if left untreated leads to the advanced form of gum disease, called periodontitis.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Jan 23, 2023 17:40 IST
Gingivitis Vs Periodontitis: How The Gum Diseases Differ

Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that harm your gums and oral health. When the bacterial activity in your mouth increases, it forms a sticky coating on your teeth and gums, leading to the development of gum disease, called gingivitis. When gingivitis is left untreated, it leads to the advanced form of gum disease, called periodontitis. Here are the differences between both.

Gingivitis vs Periodontitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease in which one experiences inflammation in the gums. The symptoms of this are recurring, meaning that they might come and go. If this gum disease is identified and treated early, it can be reversed. 

On the other hand, when you ignore the early signs of gum disease or gingivitis, it leads to an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. This is a severe condition in which the periodontium experiences inflammation. Periodontium is the connective tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. In severe cases, the advancement of this condition can lead to tooth loss.

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How Gingivitis Leads To Periodontitis?

Untreated gingivitis leaves and spreads plaque in the gum line, causing bacteria to release toxins and initiate inflammatory action on the gums. This bacterial action, when chronic, damages your gum tissues and the bones that keep your teeth in place, resulting in periodontitis.

Symptoms of Gingivitis and Periodontitis

The common symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and bleeding gums during brushing or flossing. Sometimes, your gums may randomly bleed in this condition.

On the other hand, periodontitis occurs in stages, where the later stages are more severe. Along with red, swollen, and bleeding gums, one can also experience tooth sensitivity, sore gums, bad breath, loosening of teeth, change in teeth position, pain during chewing, and receding gums.

Treatment Of Gingivitis And Periodontitis

In gingivitis, the treatment goal is to reduce and minimise inflammation. This can be possible by regular brushing using the right brushing technique and flossing every day. You can also go for a dental cleaning to get rid of plaque and tartar from your gumline and teeth. Other than this, include antiseptic mouthwash to eliminate mouth bacteria.

Since periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease it needs extra treatment. Along with following proper oral hygiene, you will have to undergo a deep dental cleaning or surgery. This may help reattach your gums again.

Also ReadDo your gums bleed when you brush? These could be the reasons

Complications in Periodontitis

When your gums pull away from your tooth, they create gaps or pockets. These pockets become home to bacteria causing infection and more tissue damage. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in the gum pockets, which may result in tooth loss.


Considering the severe nature of the periodontitis that may result in tooth loss, it is important to stay vigilant and seek your dentist’s assistance when the early sign of gum disease comes up.