5 Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis, also known as periodontal disease, is a painful and common form of gum disease, which can lead to abscess, infection, bone loss, and tooth loss. 

The issue is usually due to a buildup of plaque around the teeth caused by poor oral hygiene.

However, the oral health problem could be due to hormonal fluctuations, living with a disease (such as cancer, HIV, or diabetes), a vitamin deficiency, your age, a medication side effect, or smoking habits.

Fortunately, it is possible to prevent and reverse gingivitis by adopting good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing at least once per day, and attending routine dental checkups and professional cleanings.

Spotting and treating the symptoms early could prevent the problem from reaching more advanced stages, allowing you to enjoy healthy teeth and gums year after year.

If you are worried you have gum disease or want to know what to expect, continue reading to familiarize yourself with five common signs of gingivitis.

  • Bleeding Gums
  • If plaque remains on your teeth for a considerable time, it may irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. 

    For this reason, bleeding gums is often one of the first signs of gum disease, which you may notice when flossing or brushing your teeth.

    Never ignore bleeding gums, as it could cause gingivitis to advance to periodontitis, resulting in painful problems, such as tooth loss or an abscess.

    Of course, painful, bleeding gums aren’t always a sign you have gingivitis, as it might be due to poor brushing technique, improper flossing, pregnancy hormones, or another issue. 

    Either way, it is important to book an appointment with a dentist to identify the cause and adopt the best treatment for your needs.

  • Swollen Gums
  • Healthy gums often appear pink, firm, and immovable. If yours look swollen, red, or puffy and move to the touch, it is a possibility you have gingivitis and may need to make various improvements to your oral hygiene to resolve the problem. 

    Of course, you must organize a dental checkup to review your gums to prevent oral complications, such as periodontitis, that cause a loss of bone and gum tissues

    It is imperative to get to the root cause of your inflamed gums to ensure you receive the best treatment for your specific needs.

    For instance, if you have mild gum disease, you may require scaling and root planing to eliminate the tartar and plaque buildup at the gum line and ease swollen gums.

    It is a similar process to dental cleaning but requires more deep cleaning of the teeth and gums. For instance, a dental hygienist will scale plaque from your teeth before planing the root surfaces to prevent the formation of bacteria. 

    The straightforward procedure typically requires local anesthesia over at least two visits.

  • Bad Breath
  • Bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, doesn’t only occur after eating smelly food or not brushing your teeth. It is a common sign of gingivitis.

    No one wants to develop bad breath, but it is an unfortunate reality for the millions of people living with gum disease, even if it’s in its early stages.

    The problem often occurs when bacteria in your mouth emit a foul smell when breaking down various food particles.

    In addition to developing an unpleasant smell, you may experience a bad taste in your mouth.

    Don’t despair if you suspect you have halitosis caused by gingivitis, as you can restore its pleasant scent and protect your dental health by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily.

  • Receding Gums
  • Receding gums are an obvious sign of gum disease, as it causes the gum to shrink away from teeth and expose its roots.

    If your teeth look longer than usual, you feel a notch on the gum line, or one or more teeth feel sensitive, it is a sign you have receding gums caused by gingivitis or a more advanced stage of gum disease.

  • Loose Teeth
  • Unfortunately, loose teeth often occur when gingivitis has developed into periodontitis. It occurs when your gums recede too far away from your teeth or bone is lost, which may cause them to become loose or fall out.

    It is imperative to schedule an appointment with a dentist at bafdentistry immediately if one or more teeth become loose.

    Various treatments can prevent gum recession and reduce the likelihood of tooth loss. For example, a dentist may recommend gum graft surgery to cover exposed tooth roots and restore your gum line using tissue from inside your mouth.

    Alternatively, you may benefit from guided tissue regeneration (GTR) to repair areas with broken down bone and stop the development of soft tissue in the areas.

    Is It Possible to Reverse Gingivitis?

    It might be a relief to learn that it is possible to reverse gingivitis with the appropriate treatments and techniques.

    Routine dental cleaning and consistent good oral hygiene practices could restore your teeth and gums, potentially banishing the above signs.

    However, if gingivitis develops into a more advanced stage of gum disease, you cannot fully restore your oral health due to structural support loss. 

    The good news is that you can rebuild bone and gum tissue loss to some extent with periodontal treatments. 


    Gingivitis can cause many unpleasant and painful symptoms, which can affect your lifestyle, confidence, and oral health. 

    From bad breath to bone loss, the early stage of gum disease can feel daunting, but it is reversible with good oral hygiene and one or more dental treatments, such as routine cleaning or scaling and planing,

    Never ignore the clear warning signs of gum disease, such as inflammation and bleeding gums, as you might live to regret not acting on the symptoms much sooner. 

    If you are unsure if you have gingivitis or another stage of gum disease, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at bafdentistry. We will take the time to review your teeth and gums and recommend the appropriate treatments to restore and/or protect your oral health.

    Our talented dentists can spot the early signs of gingivitis to prevent the problem from spiraling.