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Gingivitis is quite common and is a less severe form of gum disease causing swelling, redness and irritation. As gingivitis is relatively mild, the victim may not be aware of its presence but once detected it should be treated without delay as it can eventually lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis is commonly caused by inadequate oral hygiene such as not attending regular dental appointments and failing to keep the teeth clean through routine flossing and brushing.

Gums that are healthy are pale pink and firm. If the gums become red in colour, puffy, bleed readily, you could have gingivitis.

Symptoms of gingivitis

When is it time to visit a dentist?

A regular dental check-up at your Oakville, Ontario dentist will identify gingivitis and cavities before their effects become serious. If you notice any developing symptoms of gingivitis you should see your dentist for treatment before it is too late.


Gingivitis can often be avoided as there is a strong relationship with it and poor dental hygiene, which allows sticky plaque to form on the surfaces of the teeth. This invisible film is made up of bacteria and food remains. Plaque starts to form on teeth when sugars and starches react with bacteria usually found in the mouth. Flossing and brushing your teeth every day clears away the plaque.

Plaque that is allowed to remain on the teeth for more than 3 days may harden under the gum line and turn into tartar. The presence of tartar means that the plaque is harder to eliminate and acts as protection for damaging bacteria. A professional dental clean at your Oakville, Ontario dentist will be necessary to remove tartar.

If plaque and tartar is stuck to your teeth for too long the gingiva, which is situated around the gum area at the bottom of the teeth, starts to swell up and bleeding may take place.

Risk factors

Gingivitis is not uncommon and it can occur in anyone but it often starts in puberty and comes and goes throughout adulthood.

There are certain things that can increase the likelihood of gingivitis and they include:

If gingivitis is not treated it can lead on to gum disease that could ultimately spread to nearby bone and tissue resulting in the teeth loosening and eventually loss.