Gingivitis is the early stages of periodontal disease, when only the soft tissues of the mouth are affected. Plaque buildup leads to tartar and bacteria below the gum line, which cause the gums to become inflamed, irritated, and bleed. A few of the common contributing factors include dry mouth due to medications or medical conditions, orthodontic braces, and mouth breathing. Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible! With good professional care, like the care you get here from the team at Smile Designers, followed by a good home care routine of regular brushing and flossing your gums can become healthy again.

closeup of person showing teeth and gums
dental patient teeth and gums


Periodontitis is a progressed stage of gum disease and is marked by the breakdown of the bone and gums that secure and support the teeth. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Though the main cause of gum disease is lack of oral hygiene, contributing factors include heavy smoking and diabetes. Unfortunately, bone that has been resorbed due to periodontal disease will not grow back, but aggressive professional treatment and thorough home care can prevent the situation from getting worse.

The early signs of gum disease include redness, swelling, or inflammation around the gum line. If these systems appear, your dentist will check for the build up of calculus (tartar) below your gum line. Your dentist or hygienist may use a tool called a probe to test your gums for bleeding and measure periodontal pockets. X-rays are also helpful in evaluating the bone level around your teeth.

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