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Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease which can result in severe damage to the gums, teeth, and even the surrounding bones in your mouth. Here are a few things you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of gingivitis.

Causes

Gingivitis occurs when plaque and tartar irritate and infect the part of the gum around the base of the teeth (the gingiva). There are several factors that can increase the risk of getting gingivitis, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • A weak immune system
  • Hormonal changes
  • Tobacco use
  • Dry mouth
  • Some viral and fungal infections
  • Certain medications
  • Crooked teeth
  • Ill-fitting dental restorations
  • Old age
  • Genetics

Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms that can indicate gingivitis:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, tender, and swollen gums
  • Bad breath

Treatments

Gingivitis should be reversed before it advances into more serious stages of periodontal disease. Here are some of the treatments of gingivitis:

  • Have your dentist perform scaling to clean away plaque and tartar.
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily.
  • Quit tobacco use.
  • Maintain good, overall health.

In order to prevent gingivitis from returning you should brush your teeth twice a day, floss them once a day, and go to your dentist for regular check-ups.