Helpful Gum Terms To Know

If you don’t know very much about your gums but you are diagnosed with any stage of gum disease, you might find that you know something is wrong and that treatment is essential … but that for the most part, you have no idea what we’re talking about. We don’t love this, of course, because one of our priorities is for our patients to feel educated and relaxed about the care they receive. To make sure you know all about your gum health, we offer up some essential terms to store away in the “dental center” of your mind.

Gingival Tissue

Your gingival tissue. What’s that? Well, it’s another way of referring to your gums! Sounds like something that’s complicated but it’s just the soft tissue that supports your teeth.


Have you heard the term periodontal disease? It’s synonymous with gum disease. However, it can lead to some confusion if you are unfamiliar with these terms. All you need to know is that periodontium refers to the whole supportive tissue system that protects your teeth, which includes gums, bones, and ligaments. Inflammation and disease can affect this entire system.


Now you know what gingiva means. For a quick refresher, remember that “-itis” means a disease that is inflammatory. So, put those two together and you’ve got an inflammatory disease of the gum tissue called gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease).


This is what happens when gingivitis is ignored and your gum disease progresses. It ends up affecting not only your gums but also your bone tissue.