Gingivitis: Everything you need to know about

Gingivitis refers to the painful inflammation of the gums caused by a bacterial infection or plaque buildup on the teeth. If left untreated it can develop into a condition known as periodontitis. These two conditions cause loss of teeth if left unchecked. So it is important to visit a dentist for the timely treatment of tooth problems when they emerge.

Causes of Gingivitis

The most common cause of gingivitis is plaque formation. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that forms on the teeth’ surface. If left unchecked, it becomes hard and form tartar. When this plaque surpasses the gums, it can get infected and cause gingivitis. Other causes of gingivitis are

  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal infection
  • An impacted tooth
  • Medications that contribute directly to plaque formation or worsen it
  • Vitamin deficiencies like vitamin C
  • Hormonal changes in conditions such as pregnancy and menopause
  • Exposure to heavy metals and bismuth
  • Leukemia

Risk factors of Gingivitis

Following are the risk factors of gingivitis:

  • Smoking
  • Advanced age
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history or genetics
  • Improper fitting of dental materials
  • Immunocompromised conditions like HIV

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis may be asymptomatic meaning the person is not aware that he has a problem or it may present with the following symptoms

  • Gums are red, swollen, and bleed when you brush or floss them
  • Increase in tooth sensitivity
  • Pain while chewing food
  • Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
  • Soft gums
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Bad breath that does not go away even after brushing
  • Teeth are not fitting together, a condition called malocclusion
  • Pus visible between your teeth and gums

Diagnosing Gingivitis 

If you are exhibiting any of the above-mentioned symptoms it is important to go to a dentist. The dentist will take a history and do a thorough oral examination which will include checking the condition of your teeth, gums, and the progression of your plaque and tartar.

Investigations may be required like x-ray to know the extent of gingivitis and whether the condition has progressed to periodontitis.

Treatment and Prevention of Gingivitis

Treatment of gingivitis depends on how early the disease is diagnosed. If it is diagnosed early, a routine involving good oral hygiene is enough to treat this disease at home. However, if the condition has progressed and worsened, professional dental treatment is required. This requires a visit to the dentist and regular follow-ups.

The dentist will first do scaling to remove the excessive plaque and tartar build-up and then advise an oral hygiene plan with regular follow-ups to check the progress. This takes time and patience but is treatable.

Preventing gingivitis is important and is done by

● Proper brushing technique

  • ● Brushing your teeth twice a day


Gingivitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the gums due to poor oral hygiene or infection. Early diagnosis and treatment are best when it comes to this condition. It is highly preventable and it is important to diagnose it early or it can worsen and can cause complications. You can visit the Best Dentist in Karachi for the treatment of gingivitis.

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