Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness, and swelling (inflammation) of your gingiva which is the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease, called periodontitis, and tooth loss, so it’s important to treat it promptly.

Symptoms of Gingivitis include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums

  • Dusky red or dark red gums

  • Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss

  • Bad breath

  • Receding gums

  • Tender gums

Treatment for Gingivitis include professional dental cleaning, dental restoration (if needed), and ongoing care. Your initial professional cleaning will include removing all traces of plaque, tartar, and bacterial products through a procedure known as scaling and root planing. Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums. Root planing removes the bacterial products produced by inflammation, smooths the root surfaces, discouraging further buildup of tartar and bacteria, and allows proper healing. The procedure may be performed using instruments, a laser, or an ultrasonic device. Misaligned teeth or poorly fitting crowns, bridges, or other dental restorations may irritate your gums and make it difficult to remove plaque during daily oral care. If problems with your teeth or dental restorations contribute to your gingivitis, your dentist may recommend fixing these problems. Gingivitis usually clears up after a thorough professional cleaning, as long as you continue good oral hygiene at home! Your dentist will help you plan an effective at-home program and a schedule of regular professional checkups and cleanings.