Gum Disease Or Gingivitis?

engelberg gingivitis gum diseaseIf you have discomfort in your gum tissue or bleed easily when brushing or flossing, then you may have a periodontal-related problem. Gingivitis and gum disease are two related disorders that threaten your overall health. But what’s the difference between these two issues? How are they related?

Causes of Gum Inflammation

Why do our gums become inflamed? There are a number of potential causes, including poor oral hygiene (which results in plaque buildup, irritating gingival tissue), genetic factors, certain medications, smoking, and certain chronic illnesses.


Gum inflammation is also known as gingivitis. In these stages your gums may appear red or feel sore. You may even notice some bleeding when you brush and floss. If the issue goes untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease. However, if treated in a timely manner gingivitis can be reversed before any serious tissue damage occurs.

Gum Disease

When gum inflammation isn’t treated, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets at the gum line. Bacteria can invade these pockets, leading to the onset of gum disease. The bleeding, soreness, and redness may increase, along with gum recession, bad breath, and eventually, loose teeth. In the advanced stage, also known as periodontitis, the teeth may even become lost.

Treatment Options

In the early stages a thorough cleaning, as well as improve oral hygiene from home, can help address the inflammation. As the disease progresses, a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) may be sued to remove tartar from the surface of the teeth and from under the gums. Once the disease become serious, we may need laser surgery to manage the disease by removing the infected tissue. If you have any questions about treating gum disease or the differences between the disease and gingivitis, contact our office today.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including: Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

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