How do I know if I have gingivitis?
Gingivitis, also called early-stage gum disease, is the infection of the gum tissue that's characterized by red, swollen or tender gums. If you notice that your gums are discolored, receding, bleed too easily after brushing and very sensitive while eating, chewing and drinking, it is possible that you have gingivitis.
There are two stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is the early stage, and periodontitis is the advanced stage. With proper brushing, flossing, eating and rinsing habits, gingivitis can be reversed. However, in periodontitis, infection has advanced too far and requires a dentist to remove the tartar.
What is gingivitis?
This early-stage gum disease occurs when harmful bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to become inflamed. Although the gums may be irritated, teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. There is no irreversible bone or other tissue damage during this stage. It's important to note that not all gingivitis leads to periodontitis.
However, when left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. In this latter stage, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between the teeth and gums collect further debris, exacerbating the infection.
What are symptoms of gingivitis?
Symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Receding gums
- Red and swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
If you are concerned that you may be developing gingivitis, talk to your dentist. The best thing you can do is take action early to prevent the further progression of the infection.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care professional before beginning any new therapy.