What is Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms and How to treat

The Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused in the vast majority of cases, by a mouthwash inadequate. Among other symptoms, the disease causes redness, bleeding and bad breath. Without treatment, it progresses to periodontitis, an inflammation that damages the structures that support the tooth and that compromises cardiovascular health.

How does gingivitis arise?

It all starts when the remains of food on your teeth attract bacteria. They then start to feed, multiply and take up residence in the mouth. In large quantities, they start to attack the gums, causing an inflammation. The immune system itself intensifies the inflammatory process in an attempt to kill harmful microorganisms. Hence the symptoms. In specific situations, factors other than oral hygiene are able to promote gingivitis. Hormonal changes and diseases that undermine immunity are among them.


Gingivitis Risk factors

  1. Smoking
  2. Overweight
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Diabetes
  5. Contraceptive drugs
  6. Hormonal changes
  7. Deficits in the immune system
  8. Menopause
  9. Incorrect teeth cleaning
  10. Vitamin deficiency
  11. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages

What are the main symptoms?

In the most common cases of gingivitis, the main symptoms involve:

  • Redness and swelling in the gums;
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing;
  • Sensitivity and pain in the gums;
  • Frequent bad breath;
  • Gum retreat;
  • Formation of “pockets” between the teeth caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaques.
  • Appearance of bacterial plaque (tartar)
  • Small wounds and pus in the mouth
  • Gingival retraction


Even if gingivitis appears for other reasons, valuing oral hygiene is the number one rule to prevent its development. That is, use and abuse the dental floss and the brush at the end of each meal. In fact, keeping the brush dry and clean and changing it every three months (or as soon as it shows wear) prevents it from becoming a bacterial mine. Regular visits to the dentist also help. In the office, this specialist does a thorough cleaning to expel the plaque, in addition to being able to catch the disease early on. Foods rich in omega-3s, such as fish, nuts and flaxseed, decrease inflammatory substances linked to the disorder. But it’s no use eating them if you don’t wash your mouth afterwards.

The diagnosis

The dentist finds gingivitis simply by looking at the individual’s mouth. However, if the origin of the disease is not clear, he asks for further tests. On the part of the patient, the ideal is to be really attentive to the symptoms we mentioned before. 

How to treat gingivitis?

First, it is important to know that gingivitis can be prevented with good oral hygiene. Maintaining a thorough brushing, always after meals, upon waking up and before going to sleep, including cleaning the gums, roof of the mouth and tongue, is a fundamental step to fight gingivitis. In addition, the use of mouthwashes to prevent the accumulation of bacteria is essential to fight inflammation in the gums. When diagnosed, gingivitis is treated with the cleaning of bacterial plaques and periodontics (scraping), in which the teeth and their roots are treated by manual cleaning or by ultrasound devices. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to facilitate the dentist’s access to the roots of the teeth. Anyway, only your dentist will be able to assess the degree of your gingivitis, what will be the necessary procedures and the exact time of treatment. At Odontoclinic, we have dentists specializing in periodontics who will help you to take all the necessary precautions so that you can cure gingivitis.


Sometimes, it is necessary to take medication to stop the action of bacteria. If gingivitis is not very severe, the specialist removes tartar from the teeth and, above all, guides changes in lifestyle. Yes, it will be necessary to brush your teeth well and even be careful with sugary foods, especially attractive to bacteria. Doing everything right, it is possible to reverse the situation.

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