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Common Warning Signs of Gingivitis

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It can lead to periodontitis, which is not a good outcome for your gums and teeth. You have the power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Here’s how to recognize the symptoms of gingivitis and treat it early.

Warning Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis occurs from a build-up of plaque that irritates the gum tissue. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis. You should pay attention to the following gingivitis warning signs:

  • Gum inflammation: Plaque builds up and spreads into the gum tissue. This inflammation makes your gums are red, swollen, and sensitive to the touch.
  • Bleeding gums: Your gums bleed when you brush (even gently) and/or floss, also known as interdental cleaning.
  • Teeth appear longer: If you have gingivitis, your gums will begin to shorten and recede. This makes your teeth appear longer.
  • Bad breath: Chronic foul breath is a sign of gingivitis. An unpleasant taste in your mouth can also accompany it.
  • The pocket between tooth and gum: Gingivitis can cause a pocket to form between your tooth and gum. If food particles fall into the pocket, an infection can develop. You can have more than one pocket.
  • Pus between tooth and gum: An infection in the pocket between the tooth and gum causes pus to develop. The infection could mean you have a periodontal or gum abscess.

Addressing Early Signs of Gingivitis

You shouldn't ignore gingivitis symptoms. If you see signs of gingivitis, here are some things you should do:

  • Brush and floss at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush so, you don't irritate your gums. You may even want to consider an electric toothbrush, which is better at removing plaque.
  • Use a mouthwash daily to help get rid of bacteria.
  • Speak with your dental professional about your concerns.
  • Get your teeth professionally cleaned regularly as recommended by your dental professional.

Know the symptoms of gingivitis and if you have them, be vigilant about doing something about it. You've got this! An improved oral health routine can make all the difference.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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