What Is The Difference Between Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis?


The words “periodontal disease” or “periodontitis” and “gingivitis” are often confused for each other, but in truth, they are vastly different conditions with stark differences from each other.

By definition, gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums that is usually the result of the overabundance of plaque on the teeth. The most common signs include bleeding and red or swollen gums, but sometimes, gingivitis can go unnoticed, which is why it’s often left untreated.

On the other hand, periodontal disease is a much more serious form of gum disease. Though, it can also progress from gingivitis.

With periodontal disease, bleeding gums are the least of your worries and the many signs are far more noticeable. Included would be mild to intense pain when chewing or biting, poor alignment of teeth, receding gums, bleeding gums, mouth sores and sensitive or loose teeth.

To help you further differentiate gingivitis from the more serious periodontal disease, here are a few tips:

  • Periodontal disease is very rare among children and teenagers, but common in middle-aged adults. Gingivitis affects people, regardless of age.


  • Gingivitis rarely comes with any kind of pain. In fact, as mentioned earlier, gingivitis often goes unnoticed. If you’re already suffering from pain, especially when you’re chewing, it may be a sign that you’re suffering from periodontal disease.


  • Gingivitis still will not affect your teeth just yet, so they should still be firmly in place. Meanwhile, if your teeth are already starting to become loose, it’s a clear sign that you may already be suffering from periodontitis.


  • While gingivitis may make your gums appear red or swollen, it won’t cause any unpleasant changes in your breath. If your breath has begun to start smelling bad, it’s usually because of the excess bacteria found in your mouth and a clear sign that you may already be suffering from periodontal disease.

Treatment Options

There’s also a huge difference between how dentists treat gingivitis from periodontal disease.

With gingivitis, dentists usually start by cleaning teeth to get rid of excess plaque and tartar. Special mouthwashes and topical treatments may also be prescribed for additional cleaning at home. However, treatment for periodontal disease is much more serious, as it includes the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials.

The following are other treatment options available for those with periodontal disease.

  • Tooth scaling and root planing – This two-step procedure includes scraping off the tartar on your teeth and then smoothing out the rough spots on the roots to prevent bacteria from coming back so easily.
  • Flap Surgery – In more severe cases, patients are referred to periodontist for flap surgery. This procedure involves removing the tartar from the pockets that have begun to form in the mouth. Then, the pockets are stitched to close them up and to allow the gum tissue to cover the teeth once again. By reducing the number of pockets, further complications are prevented and both brushing, as well as flossing becomes easier.


  • Bone and tissue grafts – The most severe cases of periodontal disease often see the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth destroyed by bacteria. In these cases, bone and/or tissue grafts are necessary to replace the infected tissue.

To sum it all up, periodontal disease is far more serious compared to gingivitis. Though, it is possible that gingivitis, if left unchecked, may progress to periodontal disease, but that isn’t always the case.

Either way, preventing both gingivitis and periodontal disease is easy – you can do that by brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash regularly, as well as by visiting your dentist often for dental checkups and professional cleaning.



The Effect of Snoring on Oral Health

snoring on oral health

Let’s face it. Everyone knows what snoring is and almost everyone knows how annoying it can be. But, most people just dismiss it as a normal part of sleeping because almost everyone snores. But, as it turns out, snoring is quite harmful and more importantly, it has something to do with your teeth and oral health in general.

What Causes Snoring

The severity of snoring usually varies from person to person. It can go from being a mild nuisance and disturbance to a symptom of something more serious, such as a progressive disorder known as “sleep apnea”. Also, those with a long history of snoring may develop serious sleep disorder symptoms in time, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, memory loss, headaches in the morning, loss of sexual drive and poor performance at work or school.

There are many factors that cause snoring, such as:

  • The use of alcohol, sedatives and even tobacco. Any one of these products can force your throat muscles to relax more than usual and promote the obstruction of the airways, which causes snoring.
  • Nasal problems. Those with chronic nasal congestion may interfere with their air flow every time they breathe and cause snoring.
  • Anatomical conditions. Some people with elongated uvulas or low, thick soft palates, large tonsils or adenoids naturally have narrower airways and this can cause snoring. Also, those who are overweight and obese tend to have narrower airways as well, but this is because of the excess fat on the back of their throats. In both cases, the narrow airways affect the air flow when breathing, which then leads to snoring.

Pregnant women, those who have a long family history of snoring, those who are aged 40 and above, as well as males are more likely to develop snoring problems as well.

Oral Health and Your Teeth

Our teeth need saliva for protection and because snoring causes your mouth to dry out (xerostomia), it can lead to a variety of oral health problems. This includes bad breath (halitosis), burning mouth syndrome, mouth sores, infections, tooth decay and in worse cases, gum disease.

If you are, what’s often described as a “loud snorer”, it is imperative that you follow a strict oral hygiene routine to reduce the chances of you developing any one of the oral health problems stated above.

It also seems that oral appliance therapy, a common treatment of snoring, can lead to negative dental side effects. Included of which are dental discomfort, excess salivation, TMJ, facial muscle pain and even bite changes.

Still, you shouldn’t be discouraged about getting oral appliance therapy because they are rather effective in the treatment of snoring and the side effects are often reversible.

To put simply, snoring has a huge effect on our teeth, both directly and indirectly. If you feel that you and your family are already suffering too much because of your snoring, consult a dentist. They can present to you a number of medical treatment options to help you deal you’re your snoring problem.

Make an appointment today with Anthony R. Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 or online at www.anthonyyamadadds.com.