Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness and swelling (inflammation) of your gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. It’s important to take gingivitis seriously and treat it promptly. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss.
Swollen or puffy gums
Dusky red or dark red gums
Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque to form on teeth, causing inflammation of the surrounding gum tissues. Here’s how plaque can lead to gingivitis:
Plaque forms on your teeth
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 requires daily removal because it re-forms quickly.
Gingiva become inflamed (gingivitis)
The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth, causing inflammation. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. Tooth decay (dental caries) also may result. If not treated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss