What is Gingivitis? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

  • What is Gingivitis?
  • What Causes Gingivitis?
  • Gingivitis Symptoms and Signs
  • Gingivitis Treatment and Prevention
  • Questions About Gingivitis

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease caused by the buildup of plaque, a naturally occurring biofilm containing bacteria, on the tissues that surround the teeth. The bacteria in the plaque will cause inflammation which can result in swelling and redness of the gum tissue. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Gingivitis is often painless, so if you exhibit any signs or symptoms be sure to visit your dental professional for a proper assessment and to determine a course of treatment.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is commonly caused by the buildup of plaque around the gumline. Plaque is a biofilm that is extremely sticky, and colorless to pale yellow in appearance that contains many types of bacteria that builds up on your teeth if not removed regularly by twice daily toothbrushing. The bacteria produce acids that attack both your tooth enamel and damage the gums. This damage has the possibility of becoming permanent if left untreated. Other causes of gingivitis include hormonal changes, illnesses, smoking, taking certain medications, bad brushing habits, and genetics.

Gingivitis Symptoms and Signs

Some symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and bleeding gums in addition to bad breath. When gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small pockets. Bacteria can then become trapped in these pockets, weakening the bone supporting the teeth. If you ignore the signs of gingivitis because you don’t recognize them or because you are worried about seeking care from a dental professional, your condition will get worse. Make sure to see your dental professional immediately if you notice any of these signs and symptoms to receive a proper assessment. If these symptoms persist, it's important to talk with your dental professional to determine the best treatment option for you.

Common causes of gingivitis

Gingivitis Treatment and Prevention

Here are some steps and tips for how to help treat and prevent gingivitis:

  1. Brush twice a day with an electric toothbrush to help remove the bacterial plaque from your teeth the Oral-B iO Series 9.
  2. Be sure to use an anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque toothpaste containing stannous fluoride to strengthen teeth and prevent the damage that bacteria in plaque causes as it builds up on teeth throughout the day.
  3. After brushing, rinse thoroughly with an anti-bacterial mouthwash to help fight plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath and get those hard-to-reach places that plaque bacteria can hide in.
  4. Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque between teeth. Pair traditional string floss with an Oral-B Water Flosser Advanced to help remove plaque bacteria* for healthier gums.
  5. Please note that your gums may continue to bleed for a period of time; however, it is important to keep brushing and flossing. Removing plaque is essential to improving gum health.
  6. Don’t forget to visit your dental professional regularly for a checkup and to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

When it comes to gingivitis, a healthier mouth starts with good oral care habits. Rely on Oral-B for the very best in oral care solutions.

Our Most Advanced Electric Toothbrush Against Gingivitis & Gum Disease


Questions About Gingivitis

Q: Who can get gingivitis?
A: Gingivitis is quite prevalent. But while almost 80% of adults will experience some symptoms of gingivitis, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inevitable. It’s important to note that occasionally there might be no noticeable pain or apparent signs, leaving people unaware that they have it. That’s another good reason to schedule a regular dental checkup so your dental professional can identify gingivitis early and suggest treatment options if necessary.

Q: Is gingivitis reversible?
A: After proper diagnosis of gingivitis, it is important to start treating it immediately. Gingivitis is reversible, so visit your dental professional at the first signs of symptoms for a proper evaluation to decide the best course of treatment. They may simply have you update your daily oral hygiene routine to better protect and improve gum health. In fact, a recent study showed the gum health benefits of the following routine, where 100% of gingivitis patients transitioned to a healthy gingival state**:

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day with the Oral-B iO Series 9 Rechargeable Toothbrush. Its dentist-inspired round brush head expertly cleans with micro-vibrations to remove more plaque than a manual brush.
  • Pair the Oral-B iO with a toothpaste containing Stannous Fluoride like Crest Gum Detoxify, its activated foam formula removes plaque bacteria in hard-to-reach areas to better reverse gingivitis.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove more plaque and debris from tight spaces. The Oral-B Pro-Health Advanced Floss slides up to 50% more easily in tight spaces than other types of floss. To further improve your gum health, supplement your regular flossing routine with the Oral-B Water Flosser Advanced, its unique Oxyjet Technology helps eliminate more plaque bacteria* for healthier gums.
  • Swish with a rinse containing Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC), like Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash which helps protect your mouth from gingivitis and plaque with 0% alcohol.

Electric Toothbrushes

* Helps reduce plaque bacteria and inflammatory components associated with gingivitis, when used as an adjunct to brushing, flossing and regular professional care.
**Adam R,1 Grender J,2 Timm H,1 Qaqish J,3 Goyal CR.3 1. Procter & Gamble Service GmbH, Kronberg, Germany. 2. The Procter & Gamble Co., Mason, OH, USA. 3. All Sum, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Data on file, 2020. Anti-Gingivitis and Anti-Plaque Efficacy of an Oral Hygiene Routine including Oral-B® iO Oscillating-Rotating Electric Toothbrush, Stannous Fluoride Dentifrice, CPC Rinse and Floss: Results from a 12-week Trial


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