Gingivitis is a very common and mild form of gum (periodontal) disease that causes swelling (inflammation) of your gums. Because gingivitis can be so mild, you may not be aware that you have the condition. But it's important to take gingivitis seriously and get it treated because it can lead to much more serious gum disease. Treated because it can lead to much serious gum disease. If your gums are swollen and bleed when you brush, you may have gingivitis. The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Good oral health habits, such as daily brushing and flossing, can help prevent gingivitis.
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis may include:
Because gingivitis is seldom painful, you can have gingivitis without even knowing it. You may first realize something's wrong when you notice that the bristles of your toothbrush are pink — a sign that your gums are bleeding with just slight pressure.
Healthy gums are firm and pale pink. If your gums are puffy, dusky red and bleed easily, see your dentist. The sooner you seek care, the better your chances of reversing damage from gingivitis and its progression to more serious problems.