The Important Difference Between Gingivitis and Gum Disease

thinking about gingivitis and gum diseaseYou might often hear them used interchangeably, but there is one significant difference between gingivitis and gum disease; one is reversible, while the other is not. What that means for your dental health is that, if you notice the signs of gingivitis, then you have a limited amount of time to seek treatment before it becomes full-blown, irreversible gum disease. Fortunately, you can prevent gingivitis much easier than you may think, or at least prevent it from becoming gum disease and causing severe damage to your oral health.

Gingivitis Is Reversible

Gingivitis describes an infection in your gum tissues, resulting from the bacteria that inhabit dental plaque and accumulate along your gum line. If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, or when you bite down especially hard, then gingivitis has likely already developed. By thoroughly cleaning the bacteria from underneath your gums and sanitizing your teeth roots (a process called scaling and root planing), we may be able to reverse gingivitis and allow your gums to heal.

Gum Disease Is Not

If you fail to notice the symptoms of gingivitis, or hesitate to seek treatment once you do, then the minor infection will mature into gum disease. As bacteria continue their destructive path through your gums, the tissues will become inflamed, separating from your teeth and becoming irreversibly damaged. In severe cases, treating gum disease may involve replacing necrotic tissues with a gum graft, then controlling the condition through more-frequent dental visits and improved hygiene practices at home.

But Both Are Preventable

To avoid worrying about gingivitis and gum disease, you can prevent both from becoming an issue by maintaining control over the bacteria in your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth is the most effective method of bacteria and plaque control, if practiced at least twice every day. During regular dental checkups and cleanings, we can remove leftover traces of plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line to further reduce your risks of developing gingivitis.


Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.