Home > Oral Health > What is the main difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?

What is the main difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?

Gingivitis! A stifled cry before a scream.

How often do you pay attention to your dental health? Oral care is not limited to the care of the teeth alone. It also involves visiting a dentist for regular dental checkup. Your oral health is dependent on good oral hygiene which involves cleaning your teeth and gum.

When you clean your teeth twice a day, brush and floss, and consult professionals, you can prevent gingivitis which affects the gum tissue and lead to serious infection known as periodontitis.

The American Dental Association reveals that Gingivitis and periodontitis are responsible for majority of the tooth loss among the adult population. But, periodic cleanings could help!

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. All writers from The Toothbrush Expert are recommended and reviewed in the industry. You support us through our editorially chosen links, which earn us commission. Learn more

All of our picks have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

What is Gingivitis?

A bacteria infection is responsible for this form of periodontal disease. The bacteria build up affect the gingiva. That is, the part of the gum located close to the base of the teeth. It is a form of gum disease that emerges when there is dental plaque in the mouth. Plaque irritates the gum and this can bring about inflammation which makes the gums to swell, have a reddish appearance or bleed.

Regular cleaning of the teeth is not enough to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Cleaning your gum line as it is a necessity for a healthy mouth. Furthermore, poor oral care increases the risk of gingivitis.

This can lead to tooth loss if not properly managed. For this purpose, it is important to get the help of a professional. Regardless of how many times you engage in tooth washing activities, you may never be able to discover when something is not right with your gum. This is because there may not be symptoms.

The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis

Two words you don’t want dental professionals to say to you are gingivitis and periodontitis. Okay, take a deep breath! Ready? Let’s go on.  

You are probably wondering if gingivitis and periodontitis are one and the same. It is safe to say that gingivitis is the basis for periodontitis. Simply put, gingivitis precedes periodonititis. However, not all gingivitis results into periodontitis if the warning signs are taken seriously.

Best Toothbrush For Gingivitis
Best Mouthwash For Gingivitis
Best Toothpaste For Gingivitis
Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Electric Toothbrush, White
Listerine Antiseptic Cool Mint Mouthwash, 1.5 L, 50.72 oz (Pack of 2)
Crest Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste, Advanced Whitening, 4.1oz (Pack of 3) ( Packaging May Vary )
Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Electric Toothbrush, White
Listerine Antiseptic Cool Mint Mouthwash, 1.5 L, 50.72 oz (Pack of 2)
Crest Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste, Advanced Whitening, 4.1oz (Pack of 3) ( Packaging May Vary )
-
-
$89.90
$22.68
$31.69
Best Toothbrush For Gingivitis
Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Electric Toothbrush, White
Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Electric Toothbrush, White
-
$89.90
Best Mouthwash For Gingivitis
Listerine Antiseptic Cool Mint Mouthwash, 1.5 L, 50.72 oz (Pack of 2)
Listerine Antiseptic Cool Mint Mouthwash, 1.5 L, 50.72 oz (Pack of 2)
$22.68
Best Toothpaste For Gingivitis
Crest Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste, Advanced Whitening, 4.1oz (Pack of 3) ( Packaging May Vary )
Crest Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste, Advanced Whitening, 4.1oz (Pack of 3) ( Packaging May Vary )
-
$31.69

One notable difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that the former is reversible but the latter is not. People who are diagnosed with gingivitis do not suffer any mouth and damage to the bone.

In its early stage, the spaces in between the teeth become a host for dental plague. Some common symptoms are bleeding when brushing, swollen gums and discoloration.

On the other hand, periodonitis is a form of gum disease that causes a part of the gum and bone to get separated from the teeth and develop pockets. When these pockets deepen, it further destroys the gum tissue and bone. The bacteria in plagues are toxic and this spreads across the gum line.

Unfortunately, the immune system will be too weak to fight against the infection. Some common symptoms of this periodontal disease include visible pockets in the middle of teeth and gum. In some cases, tooth loss follows.

How do you know you have gingivitis or periodontitis?

Adolescents are prone to gingivitis because of poor eating habits and absence of good oral hygiene. However, most adults may not only suffer from it but can also develop periodontitis.

One easy way to know you have developed periodontal disease is pain. This pain usually occurs whenever you want to chew your food. Also, if your teeth are in place but your gums are slightly irritated, then, there are chances you have gingivitis but when your teeth start getting loose, it is likely periodontitis.

Gingivitis does not cause bad breath. If you notice you have bad breath, then rest assured it has metamorphosed into periodontitis. The unpleasant breath is a result of too much bacteria in your mouth.

Preview
Best Choice
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Dentist Formulated Oral Rinse, Mild Mint, 16 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Oral Care Mouthwash to Kill 99% of Germs That Cause Bad Breath, Plaque and Gingivitis, ADA-Accepted Mouthwash, Cool Mint Flavored Oral Rinse, 1 L
Philips Sonicare BreathRx Antibacterial Mouth Rinse, Blue, Clean Mint, 16 Fl Oz
Preview
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Dentist Formulated Oral Rinse, Mild Mint, 16 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Oral Care Mouthwash to Kill 99% of Germs That Cause Bad Breath, Plaque and Gingivitis, ADA-Accepted Mouthwash, Cool Mint Flavored Oral Rinse, 1 L
Philips Sonicare BreathRx Antibacterial Mouth Rinse, Blue, Clean Mint, 16 Fl Oz
Alcohol Free
Yes
No
Yes
Liquid Volume per Item
473 ml (16 Fl Oz)
1000 ml (33.8 Fl Oz)
473 ML (16 Fl Oz)
Prime
Rating
Price
$15.34
$5.97
$9.99
Best Choice
Preview
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Dentist Formulated Oral Rinse, Mild Mint, 16 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Preview
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Dentist Formulated Oral Rinse, Mild Mint, 16 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Alcohol Free
Yes
Liquid Volume per Item
473 ml (16 Fl Oz)
Prime
Rating
Price
$15.34
Buy Now!
Preview
Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Oral Care Mouthwash to Kill 99% of Germs That Cause Bad Breath, Plaque and Gingivitis, ADA-Accepted Mouthwash, Cool Mint Flavored Oral Rinse, 1 L
Preview
Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Oral Care Mouthwash to Kill 99% of Germs That Cause Bad Breath, Plaque and Gingivitis, ADA-Accepted Mouthwash, Cool Mint Flavored Oral Rinse, 1 L
Alcohol Free
No
Liquid Volume per Item
1000 ml (33.8 Fl Oz)
Prime
Rating
Price
$5.97
Buy Now!
Preview
Philips Sonicare BreathRx Antibacterial Mouth Rinse, Blue, Clean Mint, 16 Fl Oz
Preview
Philips Sonicare BreathRx Antibacterial Mouth Rinse, Blue, Clean Mint, 16 Fl Oz
Alcohol Free
Yes
Liquid Volume per Item
473 ML (16 Fl Oz)
Prime
Rating
Price
$9.99
Buy Now!

Different Types

There are two common types of gingivitis and they may affect oral health if not treated appropriately. They include:

  • Dental Plague-induced gingivitis: This occurs when the buildup of plaque irritates the gum of the teeth which consequently results in inflammation, irritation, and in some cases, pain.
  • Non-plague-induced gingivitis: This occurs with the presence of either fungal, bacteria or viral infection in the gum tissue. Furthermore, reactions to different allergies or dentures can cause it too. 

Which bacteria cause gingivitis?

Since it has already been established that bacteria causes gingivitis, it is pertinent to state the specific bacteria that are responsible for it. In as much as there are good bacteria in the mouth, there are also bad bacteria that work against oral health.

The bacteria that causes it are majorly gram-negative anaerobic bacteria such as A. actinomycetemcomitans, and P. intermedia amongst others.

Are there symptoms?

Healthy gums are evidence of good oral hygiene. As soon as you notice something is not right with your gums, that is your first clue. Common symptoms include bleeding when you brush and floss, bad breath, discoloration, tooth pain, sore gums, and swollen gums.

Treatment and prevention of gingivitis

To treat and prevent this disease, you must do your best to remove plague as much as you can from your teeth and gum. An easy way to prevent it is to detect it very early. Dental professionals make use of special tools to remove plaque and tartar from the mouth.

The Toothbrush expert provides a compilation of the best mouthwash for gingivitis. It is efficient in removing dental plaque from the gum line as well as keeping your breath fresh at all times. Most importantly, replace your toothbrush every three months.

Good
Curaprox CS 5460 Ultra-Soft Toothbrush (3 Pack)
Better
Oral-B Pro 1000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, Black
Best
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush, Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo In One, White
Curaprox CS 5460 Ultra-Soft Toothbrush (3 Pack)
Oral-B Pro 1000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, Black
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush, Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo In One, White
-
$15.66
$49.97
$199.99
Brush
Brush
Brush & Floss
Good
Curaprox CS 5460 Ultra-Soft Toothbrush (3 Pack)
Curaprox CS 5460 Ultra-Soft Toothbrush (3 Pack)
$15.66
Brush
Better
Oral-B Pro 1000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, Black
Oral-B Pro 1000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, Black
$49.97
Brush
Best
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush, Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo In One, White
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush, Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo In One, White
-
$199.99
Brush & Floss

Conclusion

Oral care involves the care of the tongue, teeth and gum as well as other parts of the mouth. Poor oral hygiene can cause plaque buildup in the mouth which would result into gingivitis. This can be easily prevented and treated when you seek the help of a professional. Remember, mouth health begins from your gum line.

The Toothbrush expert is ready to assist you get rid of gingivitis.