Gingivitis is quite common and represents the mild form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a painless condition, but it will cause swelling, irritation, and redness of your gums. Because it is painless many people are not aware that they are suffering from it. You should take gingivitis seriously and start managing it immediately. Gum disease is a more evolved condition that is preceded by gingivitis and can generate the loss of all your teeth.

The most common factor that causes gingivitis is the poor oral hygiene. But with good oral health habits (brushing, rinsing, and flossing) you can keep gingivitis in check. Another thing you should do to prevent gingivitis is to get yourself regularly checked up by a dentist.

Gingivitis symptoms

You can recognize healthy gums; they are firm and pale pink. But if your bums bleed easily, and they look dusky red and puffy, then you are probably suffering from gingivitis. Gingivitis is painless, and you could not even realize you have it. If you don’t know what to look for, it is impossible to determine if you suffer from it or not.

Common gingivitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Soft, puffy gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Occasionally, tender gums
  • The change of color of your gums from pink to dusky red
  • Gums bleed easily when you floss or brush

When to see your dentist

Dental professionals recommend you to do regular check-ups. Doing this will ensure that your dentist gets to see your teeth and gums periodically, and can spot the sign of gingivitis early. If you can notice any signs of gingivitis, you should contact your dentist. The sooner you get yourself treated, the better chances you have of reversing the damage done by gingivitis and avoid having to deal with the notorious periodontal disease.

What are the causes of gingivitis?

A major cause of gingivitis is the poor oral hygiene. By not taking care of your teeth, you encourage plaque formation. Plaque, which is the sticky film of bacteria you find on your teeth in the morning, is nearly invisible. Plaque forms directly on the teeth when the sugars and starches from food interact with bacteria in your mouth. By brushing your teeth daily, twice, you remove the harmful plaque. If plaque stays on your teeth more than a couple of days, it can harden and turn into tartar under your gum line. Tartar (calcium) is harder to remove than plaque and is considered to be a protective shield for the bacteria. It will be impossible for you to remove plaque by yourself. To do so, you will require the help of a dental professional to do a proper dental tartar cleaning.

The longer you don’t remove tartar and plaque from your teeth, the more irritated your gingiva will be. Get the help you need as soon as you recognize the signs of gingivitis, or you could just ask your dentist at the beginning of your next dental appointment.