Gum Disease - The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis, Periodontal Disease, Periodontitis

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Video: Gum Disease - The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis, Periodontal Disease, Periodontitis

Video: Gum Disease - The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis, Periodontal Disease, Periodontitis
Video: Gingivitis and periodontitis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology 2023, March
Gum Disease - The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis, Periodontal Disease, Periodontitis
Gum Disease - The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis, Periodontal Disease, Periodontitis

Gum disease

If the gum becomes inflamed, this condition cannot be ignored, the person needs treatment. Such a symptom may indicate the onset of a dental illness. The longer therapy is absent, the higher the risk of complications. In such cases, the likelihood of cyst formation, abscess formation, tooth loss and damage to the periodontal ligaments increases.


  • Causes of the inflammatory process
  • Frequent gum disease
  • The main symptoms
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Other gum diseases
  • Which doctor should I go to?
  • Diagnostics
  • General principles of treatment
  • Prevention

Causes of the inflammatory process

Causes of the inflammatory process
Causes of the inflammatory process

Gum inflammation can be caused by various medical conditions. Sometimes it is temporary, which often occurs after tooth extraction. Pain and swelling disappear a few days after the procedure. No special treatment is required. If signs of inflammation persist for more than 6 days, then you need to see a doctor. There is a possibility that a person develops a complication after the procedure.

Reasons that can provoke gum inflammation:

  • Excessive deposits of tartar or soft plaque. This happens when a person does not follow oral hygiene.
  • The fall of the body's defenses.
  • Deficiency of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Taking medications.
  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Chronic diseases.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Smoking.
  • Irritation of the gums with crowns and dentures.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Viral infections.
  • Mechanical damage: burns, biting, cuts, etc.
  • Frequent stress.
  • Diseases of the internal organs.
  • Taking medications.

In childhood, the gums can become inflamed during teething. Also, an additional risk factor is the immaturity of the immune system.

Most often, the gums become inflamed due to the deposits of calculus on the teeth and excess soft plaque. In it, bacteria actively multiply, which contribute to the development of inflammation. The gums bleed, periodontal pockets form in them, the person experiences discomfort and even pain.

Frequent gum disease

The most common diseases diagnosed by dentists are:

  • Gingivitis.
  • Periodontal disease.
  • Periodontitis.

Often, the gums become inflamed in people during the eruption of wisdom teeth, as well as in pregnant women. If a person notices signs of a disorder in the health of the oral cavity, you need to contact a specialist. Otherwise, the situation will only get worse.

The main symptoms

The main symptoms
The main symptoms

All gum diseases have similar symptoms, including:

  • The appearance of blood. The gums begin to bleed while eating and brushing your teeth.
  • The mucous membrane of the gums becomes edematous, red, loose.
  • The gums begin to lag behind the tooth. Doctors call this symptom a periodontal pocket.
  • While eating and brushing your teeth, a person experiences painful sensations.
  • The gums may itch. Often a person experiences a burning sensation.
  • My mouth starts to smell unpleasant. You cannot get rid of the smell even if you brush your teeth well.

Gum inflammation can be accompanied by one or several symptoms at once. If a person notices such pathological signs in himself, you need to visit a dentist. Lack of treatment threatens to lose teeth.


With gingivitis, the lining of the gums becomes inflamed. The process is not deep, only the upper layer of the gums suffers. However, it is impossible to call such a disease harmless, since it threatens the development of periodontitis. If treatment is started on time, it is not difficult to cope with gingivitis.


Gingivitis can be acute or chronic.

In addition, dentists distinguish several forms of inflammation, including:

  • Catarrhal gingivitis. He is more common than others. Its development is indicated by halitosis, deterioration of taste, bleeding of the gums, due to which the salivary fluid becomes pinkish. If the disease is acute, then the person experiences pain. It enhances with any mechanical action on the tooth.

  • Gingivitis is ulcerative-necrotic. This form of the disease is also called Plaut-Vincent's gingivitis. The inflammation has a severe course, the gums become red, give off a painful shine. Their mucous membrane is covered with ulcerative defects, which causes pain to a person. Body temperature rises to feverish levels. Lymph nodes located nearby increase in size.

  • Atrophic gingivitis. With this disease, the gums decrease in size, and the gum papillae disappear. The patient can see the roots of the teeth, which normally should be covered. There are no symptoms of inflammation.

  • Hypertrophic gingivitis. Inflammation is characterized by gum enlargement and bleeding.

Dentists say good oral hygiene can prevent up to 95% of gingivitis. To do this, you need to get rid of not only soft, but also hard plaque. It is in these deposits that microbes actively multiply, which contribute to the development of inflammation.


When gingivitis has just begun to develop, a person's gums will bleed. Moreover, it is not always possible to notice this symptom. You can understand that not everything is in order with the gums by the taste of blood in the mouth. Most often, it appears during the consumption of food. The next sign of gingivitis is the appearance of blood on the toothbrush. In the future, the gums become very sensitive, loose. An unpleasant odor comes from the patient's mouth.


To cope with gingivitis, you need to visit your dentist's office.

The treatment regimen for this disease consists of several stages:

  • Removal of dental plaque. The teeth are cleaned with ultrasound, then polished using a special brush and paste. A gel is applied to the gums. Professional cleaning and related activities take about an hour. After 10 days, you will need to come to a specialist for a second appointment.

  • The use of drugs, elimination of inflammation. The patient is prescribed antibiotics, most often local treatment is sufficient. Supplement therapy with drugs to increase immunity and to relieve inflammation. If you cannot cope with the infection, then antibiotics are taken orally. Sometimes antifungal medication is required.

  • Antiseptic treatment of the oral cavity. It is carried out at home. To do this, you will need to apply a special gel or paste to the gums 3 times a day. Such drugs not only disinfect mucous membranes, but also relieve inflammation.

Removal of calculus is an essential component of gingivitis treatment. If the plaque is left, therapy will not bring the desired effect.

When gingivitis has a running course, they resort to surgical intervention. The patient undergoes gingivoplasty. This operation is designed to correct the gum mucosa.



Dealing with periodontitis is more difficult than dealing with gingivitis. With this disease, not only the mucous membranes of the gums suffer, but also their deep tissues. The inflammatory process can spread to bone structures. The main symptom of periodontitis is tartar, from under which pus oozes.

The periodontium is represented by a shell that surrounds the tooth and is responsible for its attachment to the gum. It is her inflammation that characterizes such a disease as periodontitis. If you ignore its symptoms, then the pathology will progress, the periodontium will collapse, pockets will form in the gums, the teeth will begin to loosen and fall out.

Periodontitis can occur not only against the background of untreated gingivitis. Its development is facilitated by violations in the structure of the jaw. This is especially true for people whose teeth are very close to each other. Dentists consider malocclusion, anatomical defects of the frenum, hypertonicity of the masticatory muscles to provoking factors in the development of periodontitis.

Periodontitis can be infectious in nature:

  • Bacterial complication of pulpitis. Infection from the pulp spreads to the periodontium and causes inflammation.
  • Poor treatment of diseases of the pulp and periodontal tissues.
  • Improper preparation of the oral cavity for the forthcoming prosthetics. Periodontitis often develops in people who have had crowns.


The main manifestation of periodontitis is swelling of the gums, its sliding down, the appearance of a tooth neck. If at an early stage of the development of the disease the pocket does not exceed 4 mm in size, then in the future its depth will increase.

Other symptoms of periodontal inflammation include: atrophy of the ligaments, expansion of pathological gingival pockets, intense bleeding from the gums. The teeth begin to wobble strongly, the bone tissue is destroyed at their very roots.

Bacteria actively multiply in the tooth pockets, as there are favorable conditions for them. Progressive periodontitis is the basis for the development of periodontal disease. This disease is accompanied by the destruction of the alveolar process. It is necessary in order to fix the tooth on the gum.


Treatment depends on the cause of periodontal disease. The patient is removed plaque and calculus, replacements and fillings and dentures, if they injure the gums.

The doctor prescribes medications for the patient to relieve inflammation. In addition, physiotherapy procedures can be recommended. A person is taught to brush his teeth correctly, and the appropriate means for caring for the oral cavity are selected.

If periodontitis is severe, then the patient is operated on. Sometimes it is necessary to implant bone tissue.

Periodontal disease

Until now, scientists have not been able to find out the reasons for the development of periodontal disease. This disease is non-inflammatory in nature, but leads to the loss of teeth. Periodontal disease is not accompanied by such severe symptoms as periodontitis. The signs of violation are blurred.

Periodontal disease
Periodontal disease

The tissues that surround the tooth stop receiving nutrition during periodontal disease. This leads to the fact that the tooth gradually looses. If a person does not seek medical help in time, the tooth will surely fall out.

Dentists have identified some factors that can contribute to the development of periodontal disease:

  • Deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body.
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Decreased immunity.
  • Diseases of the central nervous system.
  • Diabetes.
  • Disorders in the work of the endocrine glands.


The symptoms of periodontal disease will vary depending on the stage of the disease:

  • First stage symptoms. A person has itching and burning in the gum area. Sometimes patients complain of a feeling of numbness in the mouth. When carrying out X-ray, visible violations in the bone apparatus of the gums are not observed.

  • Stage two symptoms. The gums begin to bleed, their tissues are not as elastic as they used to be. In some places, pockets form, in the area of which an abscess develops. The teeth begin to loosen, during the compression of the jaw, a person experiences pain. When taking an X-ray, the doctor can visualize the rarefaction of bone tissue in the area of the inter-root septa.

  • Stage III symptoms. The alveolar process begins to die off, the dental necks are exposed. The teeth themselves become very mobile. They can fall out under load.


To cope with periodontal disease, you need to eliminate the factor that provoked it. Treatment includes both local and systemic therapy. The patient is prescribed drugs that stimulate the blood supply to the oral cavity, drugs to increase immunity and to strengthen the gums.

Gum massage and physiotherapy have a good effect. You need to tune in to the fact that it will not be possible to cope with periodontal disease in one day or even in one week. The therapy is long-lasting and versatile.

Sometimes dentists are not limited to only conservative methods. Some patients require bypass surgery. This procedure helps to fix loose teeth and prevent tooth loss.

A distinctive feature of periodontal disease is its slow development. For many years, the gums can collapse from the inside, and the person will not know about it. When the disease reaches the terminal stage, it will not be possible to completely cope with it. However, even in this case, competent treatment allows you to achieve a stable remission.

Video: Periodontitis is most common in people. What is the difference between these diseases and what may be the reasons for its occurrence. Detailed answer from the dentist:

Other gum diseases

In addition to gingivitis, periodontitis, and periodontal disease, dentists often face other gum diseases.


Periodontitis affects the tissues that surround the tooth and the root of the tooth. Pathology has a chronic course. The periodontium is necessary for fixing the tooth. The stronger it is, the more reliably the tooth sits in the bony alveolar process of the jaw. If an inflammatory process occurs, then the tissues begin to deteriorate. First of all, the cortical plates of the jaw are affected. The severe course of the pathology leads to the formation of a cyst, which can reach impressive sizes (up to 2 cm).

The main symptom of periodontitis is pain. It is twitching, its intensity is increasing all the time. It is difficult for a person to chew food, sometimes the general body temperature rises in patients.

Other symptoms of inflammation include:

  • Swelling of the cheeks and lips.
  • Swelling of the gums, tooth shakiness.
  • An increase in lymph nodes in size.

If the disease has a chronic course, then it will manifest itself weakly, the symptoms of inflammation remain subtle.

To cope with periodontitis, you need to see your dentist. The doctor installs a drain to allow the exudate to drain. The next step is to clean the root canals, after which they are filled.

For the fastest restoration of the gums, the doctor prescribes physiotherapy for the patient, as well as treatment of the oral cavity with mineral water. First you need to warm it up a little. If necessary, antibiotics and antiseptics are used. The doctor determines the dose and frequency of admission on an individual basis.



Pericoronitis is an inflammation that develops in the area of the wisdom tooth. It is provoked by tartar, since it is rather difficult to clean the extreme teeth. Also, pericoronitis can be caused by damage to the gums during the eruption of a wisdom tooth, when this process is associated with certain difficulties (it presses on other teeth or damages the gums).


Pain becomes the main symptom of this pathology. It is concentrated in the area of the wisdom tooth.

Other signs of pericoronaritis include:

  • Discomfort while chewing food.
  • Irradiation of pain in the ear and in the temple.
  • Damage to the gum surrounding a tooth next to it.
  • An increase in body temperature, as well as a local hyperthermic reaction.
  • Bad breath.

If there is no treatment, then the person may develop a subperiosteal abscess, pus will ooze from the gums. In the future, this will lead to phlegmon and osteomyelitis.

Therapy is selected on an individual basis. What matters is the general well-being of the patient and the degree of progression of the pathology. If the swelling of the gums is severe, then the patient is given a sympathetic block.

When there are no complications, therapy is carried out according to the following scheme:

  • The formed pocket is washed with an antiseptic solution. Most often, Furacilin is used for this purpose.
  • After processing, an iodoform tampon is inserted into the pocket.
  • The oral cavity is rinsed.
  • Three times a day, the patient will have to take 15 drops of 10% calcium chloride.
  • If necessary, the patient is prescribed analgesics.

The operation is performed when the indicated therapy does not allow achieving the desired effect.

Gingival hyperplasia (fibromatosis)

Hyperplasia of the gums
Hyperplasia of the gums

With gingival hyperplasia, gingival tissue overgrows the surface of the tooth. The disease can occur in 2 forms:

  • Focal form, in which the anterior part of the jaw suffers.
  • Generalized form, in which most of the gums are affected. It can grow on several teeth at once. Moreover, teeth are captured both from the back and from the front.

The patient feels how the gums are filled, they turn red. The mucous membrane penetrates the interdental spaces, which gives them an unsightly appearance.

The causes of hyperplasia include:

  • Hereditary predisposition.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Presence of tartar or large amounts of soft plaque.
  • Taking medicines.
  • Bite disorders.
  • Diseases of the blood.
  • Pregnancy.

To cope with the pathology, you will need the help of a surgeon. Excess tissue is excised and the regeneration of the gums is monitored.

Most often, patients, regardless of their age, have generalized hyperplasia. Multiple growths appear in the mouth, which merge into a single gum. This leads to the fact that the dentition is completely blocked.

Gum cancer

Gum cancer
Gum cancer

Gum cancer is a serious disease. Its danger is the latent course of pathology. The later it is discovered, the higher the risk of death. If the disease was detected at the first stage of development, then there are chances for a full recovery.

Gum cancer often develops in smokers who suffer from this addiction for a long time.

Other risk factors include:

  • Diseases of the oral cavity of a chronic course.
  • Oral pathologies that can develop into cancer, such as leukoplakia.
  • Injury to the oral mucosa from chipped teeth, fillings, braces or prostheses. In this regard, systematic damage is dangerous.
  • Infection of the body with the herpes virus.
  • Piercing.

Most often, pathology does not manifest itself with any obvious symptoms. Therefore, you need to carefully monitor the condition of the gums. You should definitely visit your dentist if, after treatment, the gums continue to bleed or an ulcerative defect forms in the mouth that does not go away over time (this also applies to any compaction). Periodically arising pains, which all the time intensify and give to the ears, neck, face, should make you alert.

Which doctor should I go to?

If you find problems with the gums, you need to contact a cardiologist or periodontist. If a patient needs an operation, then a dental surgeon is responsible for it.

Correction of bite, correction of incorrect growth and position of teeth is in the competence of the orthodontist.



It is not difficult for a dentist to understand that a patient has inflamed gums. Difficulties often arise when making an accurate diagnosis. The fact is that many diseases manifest themselves with similar symptoms. For example, gingivitis resembles periodontitis, but in the first case, pockets do not form on the gums. To find them, the doctor uses a probe to examine the space between the gums and teeth. This device allows you to detect existing "blockages".

Periodontitis is indicated by bleeding gums. Blood appears during probing. In patients with gingivitis, the necks of the teeth will not be visible, they themselves are immobile and well adhered to the gums. It is important to assess the color of the mucous membrane. If the gums are bright red, this may indicate periodontitis or gingivitis.

To clarify the diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe an X-ray examination to the patient. If possible, it is better to do a CT scan, or take a series of panoramic images. Both periodontitis and periodontal disease are characterized by bone atrophy. If a person has gingivitis, then its structures will not be disturbed.

General principles of treatment

General principles of treatment
General principles of treatment

The dentist should choose the therapy. It will be based on the causes that led to the gum disease.

The general principles of treatment include:

  1. Teeth cleaning. Doctors use ultrasound to clean their teeth. A special device is inserted into the oral cavity, which emits vibrations. By acting on dental deposits, the doctor destroys them. After brushing is complete, the teeth are polished and gel is applied to them. With the help of ultrasound, only minor formations on the teeth can be dealt with. This method of cleansing is contraindicated in people with asthma, diabetes, heart failure.

    • Laser teeth cleaning.
    • Sandblasting. This type of cleaning is used to remove soft deposits on the teeth. It also allows you to deal with dark stains on the enamel. During the procedure, the teeth are influenced by crushed substances, they are served under a high pressure of water. This treatment allows you to polish your teeth and destroy bacterial plaque. Such cleaning can be carried out only after the inflammation has been eliminated. In order to prevent its development, experts recommend eating apples more often, which perfectly cleanse tooth enamel.
  2. Elimination of inflammation. To relieve inflammation, the doctor may prescribe topical ointments and gels. However, the active substances contained in them can only have an effect at the surface level. They are unable to reach the bone tissue. Therefore, with periodontal disease, such agents are applied only after cleaning. Otherwise, the gums will become inflamed again after the completion of the drug treatment. Antiseptic drugs are prescribed for patients who have other diseases of the oral cavity. Increases the effect of the treatment carried out by folk remedies.

  3. Physiotherapy. They resort to physical therapy only when gum disease is chronic. A good effect can be achieved with the help of such therapy for gingivitis.

    • Massage the gums. This procedure allows you to enhance tissue nutrition, improve their blood supply. It will not be possible to cope with periodontal disease with the help of only one massage, but it is quite possible to increase the effectiveness of the therapy.

    • Darsonvalization. To normalize blood circulation in the gums, they are exposed to currents of different frequencies. However, this procedure is contraindicated in the presence of a purulent process.

    • Vacuum treatment. This method is aimed at destroying the capillaries that are located on the surface of the gums. After a while, new tiny vessels will appear in this place, which will be much stronger than their predecessors. Such treatment requires constant monitoring by the dentist.

    • Electrophoresis. This method involves treating the gums with currents. It is prescribed after the acute phase of the inflammation is over. Thanks to this effect, the mucous membrane becomes less edematous and stops bleeding. Electrophoresis is performed using vitamins C and P. If a person is diagnosed with periodontal disease, then electrophoresis is performed using a solution of zinc and copper with a concentration of 3%.

  4. Hardware treatment of inflammation. Special devices are used when there is a need to clean the gum pockets, as well as restore damaged bone tissue. The devices will allow you to get rid of hardened dental deposits, they polish tooth enamel with high quality. This type of dental care is indicated for patients with periodontal disease and gingivitis.

  5. Curettage. Treatment involves removing deposits in the periodontal pockets. At the same time, the doctor scrapes them with a special curette. When the depth of the pocket exceeds 5 mm, the curettage is performed using anesthetic drugs. This treatment allows you to make deep pockets smaller, and eliminate small pockets altogether. Curettage is performed 2 times a year, but not more often.

  6. Surgical treatment. The operation is resorted to when it is not possible to cope with the problem by other methods. The doctor can implant a specific area of the gum. Special membranes help to increase the efficiency of recovery. Patchwork operations are widely practiced, which resemble curettage, but penetration with a medical instrument goes deeper.

    • Splinting. Splints are used when the teeth are very loose against the background of periodontal disease. To fix them in the desired position, the doctor applies splints. Some are removable, while others are non-removable. Most often, specialists use those splints that can be removed, as this makes it easier to care for the gums. Such devices can be placed when only one tooth is loose in the patient. If several teeth have suffered at once, then preference is given to non-removable structures. They give a uniform load on the jaw when eating, which is their undoubted advantage. Such splints do not affect the patient's speech, do not cause discomfort. However, you can put them after you manage to stop the inflammatory reaction.

    • Implantation. If the disease has reached the terminal stage, then they resort to replacing the gums with an artificial one. This helps prevent bone atrophy.

The use of medications

The use of medications
The use of medications
  • Pain relief tablets: Tempalgin, Ketanov. They help to relieve intense toothaches. You can take no more than 4 tablets per day.
  • Ointments and gels for pain relief: Metrogyl Denta, Solcoseryl, Kamistad. They not only reduce pain, but also relieve tissue swelling, allow you to cope with excessive bleeding of the gums. These drugs contain an antiseptic. Under their influence, tissues recover faster. The preparations are applied to the gums 3 times a day. The course is from a week to 10 days.
  • Antiseptic rinsing solutions: Miramistin, Chlorophyllipt, Chlorhexidine.
  • Preparations for strengthening the gums: Malavit, Poliminerol.
  • Antibacterial drugs: Metronidazole, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Erythromycin. The doctor may prescribe them in the form of injections or for oral administration. These drugs are used to treat severe gum disease.
  • Pastes with a healing effect: Paradontax, Lakalut, Splat.



Prevention of gum disease should be done regularly, not after the inflammation has already occurred.

To prevent the development of severe disorders, the following recommendations must be observed:

  • The teeth must be brushed with the correct toothbrush. It shouldn't be too hard or too soft. After eating, rinse your mouth with clean water and use dental floss.
  • Nutrition must be correct. You need to give up flour, fatty, fried and sweet foods. Fresh vegetables and fruits should be present in the diet every day.
  • To give up smoking. Nicotine negatively affects the state of blood vessels, impairs the nutrition of the gums and they often begin to become inflamed.
  • The use of gels and rinses with an antibacterial component. These funds should be used when the first signs of inflammation appear.
  • Once every six months, you need to visit the dentist and undergo a routine examination.

Sometimes people run their mouth to the point where it is impossible to restore gum tissue. The doctor can only make the atrophy processes not so intense. Therefore, the signs of gum disease cannot be ignored. At the first symptoms of a violation, you need to contact a specialist.


Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist

Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".

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