Gingivitis (Gum Disease) – Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Gingivitis (Gum Disease) – Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis, also called gum disease, is inflammation of the gums caused by plaque and tartar. Plaque contains bacteria that irritate the gums, causing them to react by becoming red and inflamed. Although gingivitis does not cause permanent damage to the teeth and gums,  it often leads to periodontal disease, which does cause permanent damage, including tooth loss. Therefore, it must be treated to prevent it from becoming a more severe form of gum disease.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gingivitis?

Some people are unaware that they even have gingivitis until their dentist points it out. However, there are many symptoms you may notice that indicate you could have it, including:

  • Swollen gums that are red or purple
  • Tender or painful gums
  • She was bleeding from touching the gums, especially after brushing or flossing.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Plaque is the leading cause, but many other factors can contribute to gingivitis as well, including:

  • Inadequate brushing and flossing
  • Trapped plaque in areas that are hard to clean, such as around wisdom teeth and braces
  • Crooked teeth which make brushing and flossing more difficult
  • Smoking affects the body’s ability to heal gum problems
  • Family history of gum disease
  •  Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy
  • Illnesses including diabetes, HIV, and cancer
  • Some medications, including ones that cause xerostomia (dry mouth).

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

Gingivitis is a treatable condition that can be reversed with a thorough cleaning. It is treated by removing the cause of the irritation, which is plaque. If you have tartar as well, this will first need to be removed by your dentist or hygienist.

Another way to treat gum disease is to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth every day and get regular professional cleans. This is important to reduce bacteria and to make the gums healthy again. Your dentist may also recommend using a mouthwash, such as Corsodyl, to help treat gingivitis.

Risk Factors: Prevention & Complications

This condition can occur when proper oral hygiene is not maintained, a person has a weakened immune system or certain medical conditions. Treatment for gingivitis can be simple, but in some cases, it may lead to more severe complications such as periodontal disease and tooth loss. Therefore, it is essential to identify the risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing gingivitis to prevent its occurrence.

Common risk factors include smoking, poor oral hygiene, medications that reduce saliva production, diabetes, and hormonal changes, which can weaken one’s immune system making them more susceptible to gum diseases. Inadequate nutrition also increases one’s risk of developing gingivitis due to the lack of nutrients needed for healthy teeth and gums.

Oral Hygiene Habits

Good oral hygiene habits are essential for maintaining overall health and preventing the onset of gingivitis. This condition is an inflammation of the gums that can lead to tooth loss if not treated properly. To prevent or reduce the risk of developing gingivitis, it is essential to practice regular oral hygiene habits.

Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride-containing toothpaste is recommended as part of good oral hygiene habits. Doing so removes plaque, which consists of bacteria that may cause inflammation and eventually lead to gingivitis if left unchecked. Flossing also helps remove food particles between teeth where brushing cannot reach, thus reducing bacteria buildup in these hard-to-reach places.


Gingivitis should not be taken lightly. It is a severe oral health issue that can worsen if left untreated. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are vital to avoiding and treating gingivitis. If you notice any signs of gingivitis, contact your dentist immediately, as early intervention is often the best course of action.

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