Healthy gums do not bleed. Any amount of bleeding during brushing on on minimal stimulation is, therefore, variation from health. Both gingivitis and periodontitis are forms of gum disease.
Classification of gum diseases is very difficult because they are caused by many different types of germs and are dependent on the overall health of each individual patient. However, recently it has been well established by sound clinical research that gum diseases are linked to low birth weight infants, stroke, and heart disease. It is also well understood that plaque, the slimy substance that protects germs, is a major factor in gum disease.
Therefore, dentists are looking much more carefully for all gum diseases than in the past and suggesting more forms of treatment than ever before in history. In light of modern research, it is important that any bleeding be considered “gum disease” and discussed seriously by each patient and his/her dentist. Gingivitis and periodontitis are both gum disease and need to be managed appropriately in light of its relationship to a person’s overall health.