Gingivitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Gingivitis is generally defined as an early stage of gum disease which is caused by the building up of plaque (a biofilm that contains natural bacteria in the tissues that surround the teeth). The swelling is often caused by building up of plaque.


If the disease left untreated then it can become a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.


Gingivitis is often painless but if you have any signs or symptoms, you should consult your dentist for proper evaluation and determine the course of treatment.


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What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums or gums. This often happens because a film of plaque or bacteria is formed on the teeth.


The disease is a type of nondestructive periodontal disease, but if left untreated can lead to periodontal disease. This is more serious and can lead to tooth loss.


Signs of the disease include red, swollen gums that bleed easily when the person brushes their teeth.


The disease is often solved by good oral hygiene, such as prolonged and frequent brushing and spinning. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash can help.


In some cases of the disease, patients may not even know they have the disease because its symptoms are mild. However, the condition must be taken seriously and treated immediately.




What are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?

Following are some possible symptoms of the disease including;

  • Gums with red, tender or swollen
  • Gums bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Gums have come out of their teeth
  • Loose tooth
  • A change in how teeth meet when they bite (malocclusion)
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Kau pain
  • Delicate teeth
  • Partial dentures that do not fit anymore
  • Breathing with a nauseating odor that does not go away after brushing your teeth




What are the Causes of Gingivitis?


Changes in Hormones: This can occur during puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. During this gums may become more sensitive that increases the risk of inflammation.


Some Diseases: Diseases like cancer, HIV, and diabetes are associated with an increased risk of the disease.


Drugs: Oral health can be affected by certain medicines or drugs, it occurs especially when salivation is reduced.


Smoking: Regular smokers are more likely to develop the disease than nonsmokers.


Age: The risk of gingivitis increases with age.


Poor Nutrition: A lack of vitamin C, for example, is linked to gum disease.


Family History: People whose parents or parents have gingivitis are at increased risk of developing them. This is thought to be due to the type of bacteria we acquired in the early years of life.


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What are the Risk Factors of Gingivitis?

The following are risk factors for gingivitis:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Consuming certain medications (oral contraceptives, steroids, anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and chemotherapy)
  • Crooked teeth
  • Dental appliances that fit poorly
  • Broken fillings
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetic factors
  • Compromised immunity (such as with HIV/AIDS)




What are the Treatments for Gingivitis?

The basic treatment for the disease is practicing a good oral hygiene. But with this one should also reduce smoking and control diabetes.

Other treatments of the disease include:

  • Thorough cleaning of teeth
  • Antibiotic drugs
  • Surgery
  • Teeth cleaning
  • There are several techniques that can also be used for cleaning teeth thoroughly without surgery. Which helps in eliminating plaque and tartar to prevent gum irritation.
  • Several drugs can be used to treat the disease such as the use of antiseptic mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine, use of oral antibiotics, and doxycycline.





Gingivitis can easily prevent by proper and consistent oral hygiene. If you have any sign of the disease, make sure that you will take a properly balanced diet and visit the dentist regularly. With this, you should also brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.

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