This clinical study was to demonstrate the applicability of diffuse reflectance (DR) intensity ratio R620/R575 in the quantification and discrimination of periodontitis and gingivitis from healthy gingiva. DR spectral measurements were carried out with white-light illumination from 70 healthy sites in 30 healthy volunteers, and 63 gingivitis- and 58 periodontitis-infected sites in 60 patients. Clinical parameters such as probing pocket depth, clinical attachment level, and gingival index were recorded in patient population. Diagnostic accuracies for discrimination of gingivitis and periodontitis from healthy gingiva were determined by comparison of spectral signatures with clinical parameters. Divergence of average DR spectral intensity ratio between control and test groups was studied using analysis of variance. The mean DR spectrum on normalization at 620 nm showed marked differences between healthy tissue, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Hemoglobin concentration and apparent (oxygen saturation) were also calculated for healthy, gingivitis, and periodontitis sites. DR spectral intensities at 545 and 575 nm showed a decreasing trend with progression of disease. Among the various DR intensity ratios studied, the R620/R575 ratio provided a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 94% for discrimination of healthy tissues from gingivitis and a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 100% for discrimination of gingivitis from periodontitis.