Gingivitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Gingivitis is often painful gum inflammation or gingiva. It occurs because of plaque buildup on teeth. Gum diseases are a common condition that affects most adults in their life. The symptoms are mild and can progress into a more severe condition if a person does not treat its root cause. Gingivitis signs include puffy and red gums that bleed easily when the person brushes their teeth. With good oral hygiene, such as more frequent, brushing longer, and flossing, gum bleeding causes often gets cured. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash may help. In mild cases, the symptoms are minimal. Patients may not even know they have it. However, diagnosis can cure the condition immediately. This article will give you details of all the above; read on…

Types of Gingivitis:

There are two major categories of gingival diseases:

  • Dental plaque-induced gingival disease: Plaque, malnutrition, systemic factors, or medications can cause it.
  • Non-plaque induced gingival lesions: A specific fungus, bacterium, or virus can prominently cause this. We might also observe it to be caused by systemic conditions (including allergic reactions and certain illnesses), genetic factors, reactions to foreign bodies, such as dentures or wounds. Sometimes, there is no specific cause of non-plaque, gingival disease.
Related read: Natural Home Remedies for Toothache

Signs and Symptoms:

In some mild cases, there may be no noticeable symptoms or discomfort. Gingivitis symptoms and signs might include:

  • Gum bleeding, when brushing or flossing
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Tender gums that may be painful to the touch
  • Receding gums
  • Soft gums
  • Halitosis, or bad breath
  • Inflammation, or swollen gums.

Causes of Gingivitis:

The accumulation of bacterial plaque around teeth causes gingivitis or is the most common gum bleeding cause. The plaque can eventually lead to swelling of gums if it triggers the immune response. It eventually may also lead to quite serious complications, including the loss of teeth of the patient.

Biofilm actually accumulates on teeth as dental plaque. Colonizing bacteria that are normally trying to stick to the smooth surface of a tooth are usually formed by them. These bacteria might also help protect the mouth from the colonization of harmful microorganisms, but dental plaque can also cause a gum infection or tooth decay and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis.

The plaque can harden into calculus, or tartar, at the base of the teeth, near the gums when it is not removed adequately and is actually that causes gingivitis. This has a yellow color. Calculus can only actually be removed professionally. Tartar and Plaque eventually irritate the gums around the base of the teeth, causing gum inflammation. This shows that the gums are weak and might easily bleed.

Other risk factors and causes:
  • Hormonal changesThis may occur during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, puberty, and also in menopause. The gingiva was raising the risk of inflammation because it might become more sensitive.
  • Some diseases: Cancer, HIV, and diabetes are higher risk of gingivitis, or weak gums can cause the gum diseases.
  • Drugs: Especially if saliva flow is reduced, some medications may affect oral health. Dilantin is an anti-angina medication and an anticonvulsant that can cause abnormal growth of the tissue present in the gum.
  • Smoking: Compared with non-smokers, regular smokers more commonly develop gingivitis.
  • Poor diet: A deficiency in vitamin C, for example, is linked to disease-related to the gum.
  • Family history: If your parents or parent have/had gingivitis have a higher risk of developing it too. Because of the type of bacteria, during our early life, we gain it.
  • Age: With age, the risk of getting swelling of gum increases. Generally people aged above 40 may get gum related issues with heart disease.
Also check: Best Tips for Staying Healthy After 40

Diagnosis of Gingivitis:

An oral hygienist or dentist will check for gingivitis symptoms, such as tartar and plaque, in the oral cavity, which in its effects. They may also recommend it to check for signs of periodontitis. Periodontal probing or X-ray may do this, using an instrument that measures pocket depths around a tooth.

Treatment of Gingivitis:

If the diagnosis happens early, and if gum disease treatment is proper and prompt, gingivitis can be successfully reversed and act as a cure. Gingivitis treatment or cure involves care by a professional of dental problems and follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home. Calcium rich foods help you to reduce the impact of gum diseases.

See: Top 13 Calcium Rich Indian Foods List
Professional Dental Care:

Plaque and tartar are removed. We know this as scaling. This can be uncomfortable, especially if the gums are very sensitive or the tartar build-up is extensive. The dental professional will explain how to brush and floss effectively and the importance of oral hygiene when they notice gingivitis symptoms and provide prescribed medicine.

Follow-up with more frequent cleanings if necessary; more appointments may be recommended. Fixing any damaged teeth also do contributes to the hygiene of the mouth. Some dental problems, such as badly fitted crowns or bridges, crooked teeth, may make it harder to remove tartar and plaque properly. They may also irritate the gums.

Antibiotics and mouthwashes like listerine, parodontox, periogard, peroxyl, arestin, atridox can ease your pain and reduce the swellings in your mouth.


Instructions from the dental health can normally prevent complications and help treat gingivitis. However, without treatment, gum disease can affect tissue, teeth, and bones by spreading. Some complications include:

  • Periodontitis, a more serious and complicated condition that can lead to loss of teeth and bone
  • Abscess or infection in the gingiva or jaw bone
  • Trench mouth, where bacterial infection leads to ulceration of the gums
  • Recurrent gingivitis.
Care at Home:

People are advised to:

  • Floss teeth at least once a day
  • Regularly rinse the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day
  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Take the prescribed gingivitismedicine

A dentist can always recommend a suitable mouthwash and daily brush if they see symptoms.

Prevention of Gingivitis:

  • Good oral hygieneBrush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and at least floss once a day. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened bacteria and food particles and cure gingivitis.
  • Regular dental visitsSee your dental hygienist or dentist regularly or usually every six to 12 months for cleanings. If you have quite a high-risk factor that increases your chance of developing periodontitis such as taking certain medications or smoking, having a dry mouth more often, you may need professional cleaning. Identifying diseases that are not seen by a visual, dental examination and monitoring for changes in your dental health can be of great help through annual dental X-rays.
  • Good health practicesPractices such as managing blood sugar if you have diabetes and healthy eating are also  important to maintain gum health.

Several studies have linked various gum diseases, such as periodontitis to cardiovascular diseases including stroke or heart attack. Other reports and research have found an association with lung disease risk. If the diagnosis happens early, and if treatment is proper and prompt, gingivitis can be successfully reversed. So, brush your teeth daily twice and visit a dentist if you have any gum issues.

Written by Jagannadh Ch