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Gingivitis and Early Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is caused by a buildup of bacteria and plaque in the mouth due to poor dental hygiene and can make your gums red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis, which damages your gums and can lead to tooth loss.

Finding the best treatment for gum disease starts with a visit to Habersham Dental. Schedule your appointment now!

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an infection of the soft tissues of the gums (the gingiva). It is caused by bacteria that accumulate when plaque builds up on teeth. It can cause swelling, redness, and irritation around the gum line at the base of your teeth. You may begin to notice bleeding with brushing or flossing.

What Does Gingivitis Look Like?

Gingivitis is characterized by redness and swelling of the gums. You may start to notice bleeding when brushing or flossing. The gums may appear to start receding from the teeth.

What Does Gingivitis Look Like?
Gingivitis Causes

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis occurs when the soft tissue around your teeth — the gingiva — becomes inflamed due to bacteria-laden plaque and tartar. Plaque is an invisible, sticky film composed mainly of bacteria that forms on your teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth.

Plaque that stays on your teeth can harden under your gumline into tartar. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove, creates a protective shield for bacteria, and causes irritation along the gumline.

If not treated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.

Gingivitis Risk Factors

Poor oral hygiene is the number one risk factor for gingivitis. Crooked or overlapping teeth offer more spaces for plaque to form and increase one’s chances of developing gingivitis.

Other gingivitis risk factors include:

  • Hormonal changes, including those experienced during pregnancy.
  • Diabetes.
  • Family history of gum disease.
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
Gingivitis Risk Factors

Gingivitis Symptoms

When gums are healthy, they are firm, pale pink, and snug against the teeth. Gingivitis symptoms may include:

Red, swollen, and tender gums

Red, swollen,
and tender gums

Bleeding when brushing and flossing

Bleeding when
brushing and flossing





How to Treat Gingivitis

How to Treat Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be treated — and even reversed — by good oral hygiene and regular cleanings at our office. We recommend brushing and flossing at least twice daily to fight gingivitis and keep your smile healthy.

At your regular cleanings, our hygienists will remove plaque and tartar (a process known as scaling), polish and floss your teeth, and give you tips on maintaining a healthy smile. If you use tobacco, stopping as soon as possible is your best bet to avoid gingivitis and other dental diseases.

Expert Gingivitis Treatment in Savannah

Daily dental hygiene is the key to gum disease treatment and reversing gingivitis. At Habersham Dental, we want you to have the information and support you need to enjoy a lifetime of dental health.

Call us today to schedule an appointment at any of our Savannah area locations, and let us help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile!