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Gingivitis causes symptoms and treatment

Gingivitis: what is it?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums . These become red, irritated, swollen when they are normally firm and pale pink. They can bleed easily, especially when brushing teeth.

Gingivitis is very common . Sometimes asymptomatic, it can evolve, if it is not taken into account, in more serious diseases and more difficult to treat as a periodontitis. Untreated, the infection can indeed gain the gums, bones and surrounding tissues of the teeth. Gingivitis is ultimately the earliest stage of gum disease.

Gingivitis is due to the presence of dental plaque . Plaque is a sticky film made up mainly of bacteria, but also of saliva proteins, sugars and acids, which accumulates on the teeth.

This dental plaque thickens and hardens to form tartar if the teeth are not properly and regularly brushed. It is tartar that is responsible for the appearance of gingivitis. The more tartar is present on the teeth, the more it attacks the gums. The best way to fight against gingivitis is to have good oral hygiene and brush your teeth regularly . This simple action makes it possible to remove plaque and reverse the progression of gum disease.

Diagnostic of Gingivitis

The diagnosis starts from the symptoms described to the dentist. Then the professional examines the teeth and gums. He can do an X-ray to see if the bones are affected.

Causes of Gingivitis

The first cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that promotes the formation of plaque. Then come tobacco, alcohol, some drugs or hormonal changes. A poorly placed dental prosthesis can also be responsible for inflammation of the gums.


Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. If the infection progresses, it can reach the deeper tissues, the bone and thus become more serious diseases that can for example cause the fall of the teeth. Poor dental hygiene also has adverse effects on overall health.

Associated disorders

Gingivitis may be associated with breathing problems. Bacteria in the plaque can migrate from the mouth to the lungs and cause an infection or aggravate an existing lung condition. There is also a link between gingivitis and diabetes. Diabetes may be more difficult to control because of the increased presence of blood-borne bacteria, which increases blood glucose levels.

In pregnant women, gingivitis is associated with a higher risk of preterm labor and low birth weight.

Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis. The first corresponds to an infection of the gums, the second to an infection of the tooth bone. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of falling teeth in adults.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

  • Red, swollen gums;
  • Sensitive gums;
  • Pain;
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or crunching hard food;
  • Teeth moving;
  • Loosening of teeth;
  • Bad breath;
  • Abscess, pus.

People at risk for Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a very common pathology. Age is an important parameter in the onset of the disease. The older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from this inflammation. In addition, men would suffer more periodontal disease than women.

Risk factors

The presence of dental plaque, and therefore poor oral hygiene, remains the first factor that promotes the appearance of gingivitis. Stress could also increase the risk of gingivitis, as well as a hormonal change, especially during menopause and pregnancy, smoking 1 , malnutrition, alcohol 2  and some diseases such as diabetes or HIV.


Why prevent?
It is the buildup of tartar that is responsible for the onset of gingivitis. Now it is possible to fight against tartar and thus prevent this disease. 
Can we prevent?
Good dental hygiene and healthy eating are the main measures to prevent plaque buildup.
Measures to prevent the appearance of tartar
The simplest and most effective way to prevent tartar is to brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day, to remove plaque. For greater effectiveness, floss and fluoride toothpaste can be used.

The dentist should be consulted regularly. He can carry out a descaling, one to twice a year, if necessary.

A balanced diet, not too sweet, can prevent the appearance of certain dental diseases such as gingivitis

Medical treatments of Gingivitis

To fight against gingivitis and thus prevent the progression of this disease, it is necessary to start by brushing your teeth properly and to have, if necessary, a descaling by a health professional. An antiseptic mouthwash can be prescribed by the dentist. Finally, some toothpaste is indicated in case of gingivitis.

If a poorly fitting dental prosthesis is responsible for gingivitis, the dentist will have to replace it.

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