Signs of Gingivitis

Professional woman dentist doctor working . Man dental clinic. man at dentist taking care of teeth.

Gingivitis is a mild version of gum disease caused by bacteria and plaque buildup. It is common to have red, swollen, and tender gums. Practicing good dental hygiene at home and seeing your dentist or periodontist every six months will help to catch and clear up gingivitis and prevent it from becoming a more severe form of gum disease.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis, also known as periodontal disease, is an early form of gum disease. This happens due to poor dental hygiene from bacteria building up and infecting the gums. It’s common in adults over 30, mostly men. Researchers claim men are more likely to get gingivitis because of hormones and are less likely to go to the dentist. Smokers are more susceptible to gingivitis since smoking weakens the body’s immune system. A weakened immune system is more likely to get infections like gingivitis. Although gingivitis is considered a mild form of gum disease, more complications will likely follow if left untreated. Untreated gingivitis will turn into a more serious infection called periodontitis. Periodontitis is one of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults. 

Gingivitis Symptoms

Gingivitis usually doesn’t show symptoms in most cases, so many people have gingivitis and don’t even know it. Though as your gingivitis develops, symptoms may appear and worsen. Those symptoms may include: 

  • Bad breath 
  • Sensitive and easily bleeding gums
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Pain when chewing
  • gums starting to pull away from your teeth
  • loose teeth
  • malocclusion

Gingivitis Treatment

It may sound repetitive, but just like most dental issues, you need to practice good dental hygiene to treat and prevent gingivitis. Brush twice daily, floss every day, rinse with mouth wash and make sure to see your dentist every six months. It’s that simple. If you have persisting symptoms it may be time to see a periodontist

Cleaning your teeth

Cleaning your teeth at the dentist isn’t just for cosmetic reasons but for dental health too. The dentist can remove all the plaque and tartar that have built up on your teeth in the gums. The most plaque you can remove at home is just from brushing, but there is a lot of plaque on your teeth that is hard to see, leading to more complex problems if untreated. At a teeth cleaning, your dentist will use special tools to find all the hard-to-see plaque and remove it for you. It’s important to remove all the plaque since plaque building up will irritate your gums, eventually leading to gingivitis. 


If a teeth cleaning isn’t an option or won’t cut it, there are a few medications that your dentist can give you to treat gingivitis. 

These medications are:

  • Antiseptic mouthwash – used to kill bacteria and disinfect your mouth.
  • Oral antibiotics – used to treat inflammation in the gums.
  • Doxycycline – an antibiotic

Make sure to keep your dental hygiene in check. Do your best to prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque on your teeth and gums. Symptoms may not always appear, so it’s important to see your dentist every six months. Your dentist can help clear up gingivitis and even prevent it from becoming a more severe gum disease. Keep brushing and make your smile a happy, healthy one.