The BIG Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

Do you see blood in the sink after you brush or floss your teeth?  If so, it’s time to get to your dentist for an evaluation. You may have gotten lucky and only have a mild case of gingivitis, but things could be worse. Here is why you should get treated immediately before things escalate.


Inflammation in our mouths is directly related to the germs that cause it.  Proper brushing and flossing along with visits to the hygienist for removal of tartar and toxins should keep your mouth healthy. But, in many instances, poor home care or medical situations allow germs to take over and cause infection.  When the tissue surrounding your teeth becomes inflamed, we call it gingivitis.  Bad breath and bleeding are telltale signs of infection.  In many instances, gingivitis can be treated and will go away within a week or two.


If left untreated, the isolated infection travels beneath the gum line and starts to destroy the bone that hold teeth in place.  This is the distinct difference between “gum disease” and periodontitis.  Periodontal disease means that the bone has been affected in a bad way.  Keep in mind that you cannot naturally grow bone back, so this disease will eventually cause tooth loss if not controlled.


The Center for Disease Control published a 2009- 2010 study in the Journal of Dental Research stating that 1 in 2 American adults over age 30 have periodontal disease.  That makes it one of the most common chronic diseases in our country.

The key to preventing your own tooth loss is to reduce your risk.  Smoking, Diabetes, genetic disorders and poor dental habits are the top risk factors for developing bone loss.  You can directly control three out of those four factors!  Our job is to detect disease early and steer you toward a healthier tomorrow.  A full mouth periodontal screening is just a phone call away.