If you’re struggling with gum swelling and soreness, you might have come across two different terms in your search for the root of the problem: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both gingivitis and periodontitis can cause similar symptoms, but they are very different conditions that should be addressed with different levels of urgency.

If you think you might have periodontitis or gingivitis, keep reading to learn about the differences between these conditions, and schedule an appointment with your Mission dentist to get relief.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that affects countless people around the globe. The most common cause of gingivitis is poor dental hygiene, and properly brushing and caring for your teeth and gums is your best defense against the condition. Those with gingivitis might experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • • Gum swelling
  • • Gum irritation
  • • Tender gums
  • • Gum redness
  • • Bleeding around the base of the teeth
  • • Bad breath

Gingivitis is reversible and isn’t an urgent condition on its own, but if left untreated it can develop into a more severe problem. If you think you might have gingivitis, you should see your Mission dentist for treatment.

What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that can develop when gingivitis is left untreated. This condition can have serious impacts on your dental health, damaging the soft tissue around your teeth and potentially destroying the bone that supports them. With this in mind, periodontitis can lead to serious outcomes, including tooth loss. 

Some common symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • • Loose teeth
  • • Bad breath
  • • Swelling or red gums
  • • Gum irritation or tenderness
  • • Bleeding with brushing
  • • Receding gums
  • • Painful chewing
  • • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • • New spaces between teeth

Periodontitis is an incredibly serious condition, and it’s essential that treatment is started immediately to prevent further damage. If you’ve experienced the symptoms listed above, see a dentist for care as soon as possible.

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis: What’s the Difference?

You might have already guessed, but the key difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is their differing levels of severity and their potential for treatment. While gingivitis is mild and can potentially be fully reversed, the damage caused by periodontitis is irreversible. That’s why it’s so important to see a dentist for gingivitis treatment before the condition develops into periodontitis or tooth loss. The treatments for both conditions involve different methods for cleaning the teeth and gums, as well as antibiotics in some cases.

Get Treatment for Gum Disease at Heroes Dental in Mission

While gingivitis might not be a major concern, it can develop into a real problem before you know it. If you think you might have gingivitis or periodontitis, you need to see a dentist to get a diagnosis and get treatment.

Get relief from your gum pain and swelling with a visit to your Mission dentists at Heroes Dental. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional care to all of our patients.


If you think you may have gum disease, some see a Mission dentist right away at Heroes Dental.

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