Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingiva (gum tissue). Your dentist or dental hygienist may alert you to this condition; however, it can be overcome with thorough brushing and flossing of the teeth. Ignored or untreated gingivitis can lead to more advanced Periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gingivitis. Left untreated, the dental plaque, or tartar, that causes the slight inflammation of gum tissue seen in gingivitis may progress to infection of the gum tissue. This is characterized by the recession and bleeding of gum tissue and the existence of plaque above and below the gum line. The infection of tissue and presence of bacteria also leads to the loss of bone supporting the teeth. Depending on the level of progression of periodontis, your dentist may recommend a debridement or scaling and root planning to remove the disease and help you regain total health.