> Gingivitis Symptoms

Gingivitis Symptoms

If you have symptoms of gingivitis, treating them is an easy way to improve your health and appearance.  

Not only will you be healthier and feel better, you will look better too.  Nothing ruins a nice white smile like puffy, red and inflamed gums.

How to recognize gingivitis symptoms

Gingivitis symptoms are easy to miss. Gingivitis starts with just a little puffiness and occurs so gradually that you probably don't even notice. Though difficult, diagnosing gingivitis early makes it so much easier to cure.

The classic symptoms are redness, swelling, and bleeding.  Seems obvious enough and yet mild to moderate gingivitis goes unnoticed most of the time. 

If you don't floss very often or have poor brushing technique you are even more likely to miss these important red flags.  But, with just a little effort you can improve your health.

You can do a lot to improve gingivitis at home, but it is important to have a dental check up to be sure you don't have a condition that needs professional treatment.

1. Sore and swollen

Gums that bleed when you floss and are sore and swollen are an indication of gingivitis.  

Healthy gums should not get swollen or sore from flossing properly.  Unhealthy gums may, but should gradually improve.  If your gums are swollen or sore after you floss, hang in there for a week. They should get better. Still sore? check your flossing technique. See your dentist if you continue to have pain or bleeding after flossing.

2. Red and puffy

Pink and firm is so subjective but important. The easiest way to tell, is to compare. Look at your gums compared to this picture.  

Like skin color, the color of healthy gums varies so they don't need to be exactly the color of the girl in the picture (and your teeth don't need to be this perfect) but your gums should be firm, even, and close to your teeth like hers.

Do some areas in your mouth look pinker and firmer than others? 

Many cases of gingivitis are localized (only in a few areas). Localized gingivitis often occurs around lower front teeth and on the tongue side of lower molars.

3. Bleeding

The biggest indicator and most important gingivitis symptom or symptom of active periodontal disease is bleeding gums.

Blood on your toothbrush or in your toothpaste after brushing.  Blood mixed with toothpaste when you rinse after brushing is most often an indication of gingivitis or more advanced gum disease.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and the easiest to reverse.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more destructive stage of periodontal disease that is more difficult to reverse and eventually causes tooth loss.

How to treat gingivitis

Treating gingivitis is simple....just clean your teeth thoroughly everyday by brushing and flossing.

Sounds easy and it is easy when your gums are healthy.

But if you have gingivitis, it will take some persistent effort on your part.  

It goes against natural instincts to cause pain or bleeding but that is what happens when you have gingivitis and suddenly start to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Inflamed gums are sore and get more sore after proper brushing and flossing.

They feel better when they are ignored.  

Gums with gingivitis often get ignored and the condition silently progresses to more severe gum disease that requires professional treatment.

It is easier to stay motivated if you know from the start that it is ok for your gums to be a little bit sore and bleed at first.  They will gradually improve and after a week of good care and will be much healthier.

For gums that are swollen, sore and bleed easily, I prefer a simple and gradual approach to treating gingivitis. 

Here's my step by step guide that explains how to treat gingivitis. 


gingivitis treatment

In some cases, treating gingivitis can be more complicated. Your cure for gingivitis may require a closer look at contributing factors.

Chronic diseases, dry mouth, hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy, medications, sensitivity to metal brackets and wires used for orthodontic treatment, reaction to foods or dental products, genetics, crowded or crooked teeth are some conditions that make treating gingivits more complicated.  Learn more about gingivitis Causes.

ANUG or acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a rare but severe type of gingivitis that cannot be treated at home.  Learn more about caring for ANUG here.

Top of page

Still Need Some Advice?  Submit Your Question for a Personal Reply

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.