What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a fairly common form of gum disease. Despite its commonality, gingivitis should not be taken lightly. Left untreated, it can cause periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that might lead to tooth loss, and it can occur even if you are otherwise healthy. Lax brushing and flossing techniques increase your chances of developing gingivitis. Other causes include smoking or chewing tobacco, genetics, and certain medical conditions or medications.

Signs of gingivitis

Signs of gingivitis are sometimes subtle and it’s easy to have it and not even know it. So, how will you know if you have it? One of the common signs is bad breath. Other indicators are gums that are receding, or swollen, soft or tender gums. Also, watch for bleeding when you brush and floss. In addition, your gums may change from a pink to a darker, reddish color. Healthy gums are normally a pale pink color and they are firm to the touch.

­­­­Ot­­her health factors

Research is continuing into the link between medical diseases and periodontal disease. Diabetes or suffering a stroke, for example, appear to have links to severe gum disease. Medications such as steroids or anti-epilepsy drugs may also be related to gum disease. They can dry out the mouth, reducing the protective properties found in saliva. Additionally, structural issues, such as crooked teeth that are difficult to clean can increase your risk of gum disease.

Preventing gingivitis

Any of these symptoms call for a prompt visit to our office. The earlier gingivitis is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of avoiding more serious symptoms and problems. In its early stages, gingivitis is often held at bay by improved oral hygiene and a professional, deep dental cleaning.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.