What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease, which is sometimes called gum disease. Nearly half of all Americans have some sort of periodontal disease, and gingivitis is the most common. Luckily, a dentist can treat and completely reverse the effects of gingivitis if it is detected early.

Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Gingivitis is caused by excessive plaque build up. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, which causes gums to become red and puffy, and easily bleed. There is normally little or no discomfort associated with gingivitis, however, bleeding while brushing is quite common.

Periodontitis – If gingivitis is left untreated, it can worsen into periodontitis, which is typically characterized by gum inflammation and recession. Periodontitis typically progresses slowly, but rapid periods of progression can occur. Periodontitis can be further broken down into various forms and degrees of seriousness. Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients that are otherwise healthy, and progresses very rapidly – and sometimes without symptoms. 

Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of periodontitis, and is prevalent in adults. It progresses more slowly, and is characterized by gum inflammation and bleeding. 

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is characterized by swollen, red gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis can worsen into more serious forms of periodontal disease, which is usually marked by heavy accumulations of dental plaque and calculus. Periodontal disease and periodontitis often causes puffy, bright red gums and heavy gum recession. 


Gingivitis is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene. Other common causes are diabetes, use of certain medications, tobacco use, a poor diet, and genetic predisposition. However, most periodontal disease begins as simple gingivitis, which can be easily treated and prevented.

Preventing Gingivitis 

Like cavities, gingivitis can be prevented by maintaining a healthy oral routine that includes brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time and flossing once per day.

Detect Periodontal Disease Early

As with most ailments, periodontal disease is best dealt with in its early stages making early diagnosis vital for successful treatment. Visit our office if your child is complaining or oral sensitivity, or displaying any of the symptoms above. We will evaluate their oral health, and provide you with a treatment plan that will help earn a smile that is free of gingivitis. 

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