Gingivitis is a non-destructive periodontal disease. The most common form of gingivitis, and the most common form of periodontal disease overall, is in response to bacterial biofilms adherent to tooth surfaces, termed plaque-induced gingivitis. In the absence of treatment, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, which is a destructive form of periodontal disease.
While some cases of gingivitis never progress to periodontitis, periodontitis is always preceded by gingivitis.
Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene; however, without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, in which the inflammation of the gums results in tissue destruction and bone resorption around the teeth. Periodontitis can ultimately lead to tooth loss.