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(781) 665-1552

Melrose Dental Clinic: Differences Between Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

Melrose Dental Clinic

Melrose Dental Clinic | Gingivitis and periodontal disease are two words that you definitely don’t want to hear coming out of your dentist’s mouth during your next appointment. Gum disease is a serious condition that affects many patients of all ages, particularly adults. This is a preventable condition for most people, but it is all too easy to neglect one’s oral health habits at home. Some patients also delay their dental exam and cleaning appointments.

Your Melrose dental clinic is trained to recognize the signs of gingivitis and all stages of periodontal disease so that you can receive early intervention and have the best possible outcome if you receive a diagnosis of gum disease.

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

Properly understood, gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease. Left undiagnosed and untreated, gingivitis eventually progresses into a more serious form called periodontitis, which is irreversible at this late stage.

Melrose dental clinic | Dentist showing patient a dental issue,

Gingivitis involves the presence of red and tender gums, and possibly gums that bleed when cleaning teeth.

Periodontitis is a more serious form of periodontal disease that involves the destruction of bone, leading to eventual tooth loss.

So periodontal disease always involves gingivitis. And gingivitis always precedes periodontitis. Maintain your visits with Melrose dental clinic.


In its early stages, gingivitis involves the accumulation of plaque that contains bacteria. The presence of plaque leads to gum inflammation and gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Even though these problems are occurring with the gums, the teeth are still firmly in place.

Symptoms of Gingivitis:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Chronic bad breath

The good news is that irreversible bone damage has not yet developed. Gingivitis is a mild type of gum disease. Consider yourself lucky if periodontal disease has been diagnosed at this early point. You still have time to reverse the condition and save your teeth with Melrose dental clinic.


Periodontitis involves gum tissue and bone retracting and developing pockets. Pockets are tiny spaces between the gums and teeth that accumulate debris and develop infection. Inflammation occurs when your body’s immune system responds. Plaque begins spreading and growing under your gum line.

This inflammatory condition leads to the destruction of gum tissue and bone. Since gum and bone support your teeth, their destruction leads to teeth loosening and eventually falling out.

Signs of Progression From Gingivitis to Periodontitis

Here are a few ways to tell the difference between the two:

  • Age. Young people rarely develop gingivitis.
  • Pain. If you experience pain when biting or chewing, this may be an indication that you have progressed from gingivitis to periodontitis.
  • Tooth Condition. If your teeth are still firmly in place, you may only have gingivitis. If they become loose, you more than likely have periodontitis.

Book Your Appointment

If you suspect that you are dealing with gingivitis, or any stage of periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to contact your Melrose dental clinic at (781) 665-1552 so that we can examine you and provide a proper diagnosis and treatment. Schedule your consultation today!

12 Porter Street, Melrose, MA 02176 – phone (781) 665-1552 – fax (781) 665-5826
Copyright © Melrose Dental Group | Dr. Piro Leno. All rights reserved.

 Melrose Dental Group | 12 Porter Street Melrose, MA 02170 | (781) 665-1552