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Gingivitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
January 28, 2023  |  Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis (gum disease) is a condition where the gums have become inflamed, red, swollen, and ulcerated. Gingivitis is a chronic disease that affects many people, often those who smoke or chew tobacco. The condition is not life-threatening but the complications from it can be dangerous and painful. This infection can lead to other conditions including periodontal disease. Gingivitis symptoms are usually painless bleeding gums, swelling in the cheeks and around the teeth, loose teeth, or bad breath caused by bacteria in your mouth.

Stages of Gingivitis

There are four stages of gingivitis:

  1. Acute Gingivitis is the first stage of gingivitis. This stage can last from two to six months.

  2. Progressive Gingivitis is the next stage in the progression of gingivitis. This phase lasts for about four to six weeks, then there is a rest period. However, if untreated, this phase can take as long as two years before it ends. This is sometimes referred to as chronic-stage gingivitis. During this stage, symptoms may have subsided but your tooth decay and gum disease have not yet been reversed or treated by control measures such as brushing and flossing regularly. 

  3. Recurrent Gingivitis is a stage that is caused by a recurrence of gingivitis. This phase can last about seven to ten days. You may have one or more of the symptoms of chronic gingivitis such as bad breath, loose teeth, and swollen, red gums.

  4. Remission is the final stage of gingivitis where symptoms no longer exist. However, your gum disease is still present and it may take several months or years for your teeth to recover from this stage.

What Causes Gingivitis?

If your gums are swollen and bleed, it is likely that you have gingivitis. The source of your gum disease may be bacteria that are causing the condition. There are four types of oral bacteria that may cause gum inflammation:

  • Streptococcus mutans (a common oral bacterium)

  • Lactobacillus (a microorganism)

  • Actinomyces (a microorganism)

  • Porphyromonas (a microorganism) 

Gingivitis develops after a period when these organisms multiply inside your mouth. The microscopic particles from these bacteria then enter your bloodstream and attack the tissues near your teeth, causing inflammation and disintegration in those tissues.

Other causes of Gingivitis are:-

  • Smoking/tobacco 

  • Poor oral hygiene

  • Not fully removing plaque

  • Stress

  • Hormonal changes

  • Poor nutrition 

  • Medications 

  • Chronic diseases

  • Age (the risk of gingivitis increases with age)

  • Family history

Gingivitis Treatment and Prevention

Steps to Help Prevent and Treat Gingivitis:

  1. Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste.

  2. Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash. 

  3. Brush your teeth and gums for at least 2 minutes, at least 2 times a day.

  4. Floss at least once a day

  5. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months

  6. If you have sore gums after flossing or brushing or notice bleeding, don’t stop brushing or flossing.

  7. Check your gums in the mirror often for changes in color or texture.

  8. Cut back on foods that are high in sugar. 

Why Choose Didsbury Smiles Dental for a Gingivitis treatment?

At Didsbury Smiles Dental, we are dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy mouths every time they come in for their dental checkups. If you or someone you know needs professional dental treatment, visit our dentist at your earliest convenience!

Need help with gum disease and treatment?

Frequently Asked Questions about Gingivitis

  1. What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissue around your teeth. When you have gum disease, harmful bacteria breed in tiny spaces between your teeth and gums. Over time, those germs can spread to the rest of your mouth and even to your heart and bloodstream. This can cause serious health problems.

  1. What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease can start with plaque, a colorless film that forms on your teeth. Plaque is made of bacteria, food particles, and saliva. It's sticky and easy to remove with a toothbrush or dental floss. If you don't clean around your teeth, plaque can harden into tartar (also called calculus). Bacteria in plaque convert sugars in the foods you eat into acid. This acid attacks the surface of teeth and can lead to cavities (caries), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss.

  1. Is Gingivitis Reversible?

No. Gingivitis is a chronic condition that affects many people. This infection can lead to other conditions such as periodontal disease. The symptoms of gingivitis are usually painless bleeding gums, swelling in the cheeks and around the neck of teeth, loose teeth, or bad breath caused by bacteria in your mouth.

  1. What Are The Signs of Gum Disease?

Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. Most people have some bleeding when they brush, but a daily check of your gums can help you spot any changes caused by infection. Other signs include

  • Sore, tender, or swollen gums

  • Receding gums that expose more tooth surface

  • Pus between the teeth and under the gum line

  • Gums that feel spongy or firm to the touch instead of springy.

  1. How Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?

The three most effective ways to stop gum disease are to brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and see your dentist twice a year. The majority of average people won't know if they are acquiring gum disease. Therefore, it is crucial to go to the dentist. There is a widespread fallacy that if you regularly brush and floss, there is little risk of having dental problems. It's crucial to visit the dentist twice a year because several factors that contribute to gum disease are not directly related to oral health.

  1. What symptoms indicate gum disease?

Early stages of gum disease are typically painless. Bad breath, swollen gums, bleeding gums when brushing, receding gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, and other symptoms may be present.

  1. What results from the non-treatment of gum diseases?

If gum disease is left untreated, the gums may peel away from the teeth and create pockets or holes between the gums and teeth, which can collect food and speed the spread of infection, resulting in tooth loss.


If you need help with gingivitis treatment, or gum disease treatment, you can get in touch with a trusted dentist in Didsbury and get the best help from our experts. 

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