What is the difference between healthy gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis?

Healthy gums are gums that have no inflammation and you don't have bleeding. They're not red, they're not puffy, they're not swollen, and equally important, underneath the gum line, there is no loss of bone level, no loss of bone socket level.

How can we identify healthy gums?

Healthy gums are not inflamed or bleeding. They are not red, puffy, or swollen. Underneath the gum line, there is no loss of bone level or bone socket level. Healthy gums equate to no bone loss and no inflammation of the gums.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is our techie word for gum inflammation. It is characterized by red swollen gums, gums that may not look swollen but are bleeding when you're brushing and flossing. Those are gums that are inflamed and that's a sign of gingivitis. Essentially, gingivitis is swollen gums with no bone loss. It's important to note that gingivitis is reversible because there's no bone loss and once the gums go up, they can go back down to their normal levels.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an irreversible form of gum disease. It is characterized by loss of the bone level around the teeth. Sometimes, the gum level can be at a normal level, but if the bone level is down or anywhere past where the attachment of the gums should be, that's periodontitis. Often, people with periodontitis will have a drop in the gum level and they'll be able to see long roots, and long teeth. This is a sign of periodontitis. The sad part about periodontitis is that it is not reversible. Once it occurs, it's an irreversible disease state of your gums. The only thing you can do is manage it to keep it in a state of what we call attenuation of stability.

What happens when periodontitis is in its active state?

When periodontitis is in its active state, you have bone loss, with bone level showing roots, and bleeding. This is an active state of inflammation and the disease is progressing.

How can we differentiate between periodontitis, gingivitis, and healthy gums?

Periodontitis is characterized by bone socket loss, gingivitis involves no bone socket loss but has swollen gums, and healthy gums have no inflammation, no bleeding, and no bone loss.