Gingivitis: Signs, Symptoms & How to Keep Teeth and Gums Healthy


By Alicia Kennedy, DDS

Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. Common symptoms of gingivitis include swollen or inflamed gums, redness, receded gums and puffy tissue surrounding the gum line. Some patients may also experience bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth even in the earliest stages of gingivitis.

Fortunately, if you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, it can be easily treated and prevented with proper oral care hygiene.

Why does gingivitis occur?

Gingivitis occurs from plaque buildup in the mouth. If plaque is not removed with daily brushing and flossing, the gums can experience irritation resulting in gingivitis. With a continued lack of dental care, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis including dental damage such as loose teeth, increased risk for cavities, bone and connective tissue damage and even loss of teeth.

Preventing and Reversing Gingivitis

The first line of defense against gingivitis is proper oral hygiene. Stop gingivitis by:

Brushing twice a day.

Plaque is a constant battle. That is, it continues to form throughout the day so its removal is essential to proper dental hygiene. Brush your teeth morning and night for the most effective plaque removal.

Flossing daily.

Plaque can get in between teeth and below the gum line. Remove traces of plaque in tight areas by flossing your teeth daily.

Eating right.

Avoid tooth-damaging foods like soda, sticky candies and other sugary products. A healthy diet benefits not only the body, but also your mouth.

Not Smoking.

Cigarettes are harmful to your health and can also have adverse effects on your mouth and its pH and saliva production. Quit the habit for a healthier mouth – and longer life.

Getting teeth cleaned regularly.

Once plaque turns to tartar, only a dentist’s office can remove it. Schedule your dental appointments regularly to reduce your risk for gingivitis and other ailments such as cavities, periodontitis or other oral conditions.

If you’re concerned about your oral health and suspect you may have gingivitis, it’s important to call our office for a consultation. While we offer full service dental care including aesthetics, we pride ourselves on preventing oral conditions that can lead to poor dental health. That includes treating our patients regularly to ensure beautiful teeth for a lifetime. Visit us at

or call (858) 454-6148 to schedule your consultation.