What Is Gingivitis?

This is an early stage of gum disease that is common throughout the world. It is an inflammation which results in gums becoming red and swollen. Bleeding gums during brushing is often the first symptom of this inflammation. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can evolve and cause pain.

What Are the Signs of Gingivitis?

It’s easy to miss the signs of gum disease. But if you have puffy, red gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, you could have gingivitis. There may not be pain associated with gingivitis, which is why the signs may be overlooked.

What Causes Gingivitis?

The most common causes are improper oral home care and improper technique. When brushing, flossing and rinsing don’t occur daily, leftover bacteria builds and forms a thick film known as plaque, which can lead to tartar and break down teeth over time.

Can You Prevent Gingivitis?

Getting into a good, solid mouth-cleaning routine that involves brushing and rinsing twice daily, plus daily flossing, can reverse the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. Scheduling regular six-month dental check-ups is also key to keeping your mouth healthy and clean, as tartar build-up is something only professional tools used at the dentist’s office can remove.

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

The most crucial step in treating gingivitis is to not ignore symptoms that may seem harmless, such as a little blood in the sink when you floss and brush, and/or irritated gums that look red and/or swollen. If these symptoms appear, make an appointment to check in with your dentist to identify the cause and to get your teeth and gums assessed. Your dentist may recommend an improved daily home-care regimen for your teeth, including adding mouthwash to your routine. If pockets of bacteria have formed around the teeth and gums are beginning to pull away from the teeth, a deep cleaning with your dentist or periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum disease) may be suggested. That said, if it goes untreated and ignored, gingivitis can lead to further problems.