What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a gum infection characterized by inflamed and/or red irritated gums. Other common symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding gums from brushing/flossing, bad breath, receding gums, sensitive gums, loose teeth, sensitive teeth, pain while chewing, etc.

What Causes Gingivitis?

This gum infection most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene leading to a bacterial infection in the sulcus. The sulcus is a small space where your gums attach to the teeth. This area is actually below the visible gum line. Food and plaque, which is a thin layer of bacteria, can become trapped in this area and lead to an infection - gingivitis. If left untreated, the gums may begin to separate from the teeth, leading to a more serious infection, periodontitis.

While poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of gingivitis, other factors may increase your risk, these include:

Tobacco Products

Certain Medications



Compromised Immunity


In most patients, gingivitis is preventable with good oral hygiene. Prevention, therefore, includes; proper brushing technique, brushing frequency (twice daily), selecting the right toothbrush, brushing time (at least 2 minutes), flossing daily, and using an alcohol-free mouth rinse daily.


The most important step for treatment is being seen by your dentist and hygienist for professional treatment. A hygienist will be able to remove plaque and tartar while a dentist will be able to provide an early diagnosis and determine if other/additional treatments are needed.

For at-home treatment, refer back to our section on prevention, as good oral hygiene is the key to both the prevention and at-home treatment.

Concerned that you may be experiencing symptoms of gingivitis? Schedule an appointment today to receive a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan.