Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis: What’s the Difference?

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What is the difference between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?




When it comes to Oral health issues, there are different problems that can be associated with it. Gingivitis and Periodontitis are commonly heard Oral health issues which are gum disease problems. Although both of them are gum disease problems there is a slight difference between both. Gingivitis is the problem observed during the early stage of the gum disease, while Periodontitis is the gum disease problem observed at the later stage. However, there are some more similarities and differences between Gingivitis and Periodontitis. So, let us see some similarities and then detail the difference between both.

Similarities between Gingivitis and Periodontitis:

Gingivitis and Periodontitis are both gum disease problems. The bacteria build-up leads to Oral health issues in gums which initially lead to Gingivitis problem. Bacteria build-up is inevitable even when you follow proper dental habits like brushing twice, flossing, mouthwash, etc. However, proper dental habits can minimize the severity of gum disease problems. Gingivitis problems are observed rarely among children, it is mostly observed among adults who are more than 40 years old. Periodontitis is also gum disease which is basically observed at later stages of gum disease after Gingivitis. In both cases, getting the treatment from the dental expert is very essential.

Which comes early: Gingivitis or Periodontitis?

Gingivitis comes before the severe problematic Periodontitis. It will never happen that Periodontitis occurs before Gingivitis. However, it does not always mean that the person suffering from Gingivitis will have Periodontitis. Still, in most cases, it is observed that the person who had Gingivitis will have Periodontitis later. A proper treatment of Gingivitis can help to avoid the Periodontitis problem.

The first stage Gingivitis:





The plaque build-up is the major cause of Gingivitis which is observed in most cases. This plaque is built-up due to sugar in food debris and lack of brushing in the complicated areas. It builds up the plaque and eventually increases the bacteria. The growth of bacterial colonies along with enzymes causes the gum disease problem which is known as Gingivitis. Here, the commonly observed side-effects are bleeding while brushing, inflammation, and bad breath. All of these are some of the commonly observed effects during Gingivitis. Still, Gingivitis is unpleasant and on some occasions painful too. It leads to problems like an increase in stress level, affecting self-esteem, and changing the overall mood. However, the only less concerning thing about Gingivitis is it causes less damage.

The second stage Periodontitis:




Periodontitis is the second stage observed after Gingivitis. However, a proper treatment at the stage of Gingivitis can avoid going to the Periodontitis stage. Compared to Gingivitis, the effects of Periodontitis are more severe. All the effects found during the Gingivitis are found during the Periodontitis stage too. The inflammation continues during the Periodontitis and affects the bone of the jaw. In some cases, gum recession is observed among some patients and it is more painful. Apart from Oral health, Periodontitis also increases other health-related issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and problems related to the heart. The treatment of Periodontitis is more complex comparatively.

It might be hard to detect for you, whether gum disease issues are Gingivitis or Periodontitis. So, visiting a dental expert can help to analyze it along with providing proper treatment.

Expert opinion

  • Dr. Rupali Gujar Dental Director of Sabka dentist says "Gingivitis and Periodontitis are both gums disease-related problems. Gingivitis is the first stage problem which has comparatively lesser painful, still, an unpleasant problem. Periodontitis problem is seen in the later stage which is more painful and needs immediate treatment. A dental expert can give a better solution for it."

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