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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is mild gum disease caused by plaque that builds up on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that can irritate your gums and cause an infection.

What increases my risk for gingivitis?

What are the signs and symptoms of gingivitis?

You may have any of the following:


How is gingivitis diagnosed?

Your dentist will check your gums for swelling and redness. Your dentist will also use a dental probe to check for bleeding. X-rays may be taken of your mouth and teeth.

How is gingivitis treated?

Gingivitis that is found early and is not too bad can be treated with good dental care at home. You may need to visit your dentist more often for dental cleanings. During these visits, your dentist may need to remove hard plaque from your teeth with tools. Your dentist may also need to treat any dental problems that make it hard for you to clean your teeth well.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to prevent or manage gingivitis?

Gingivitis may lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause other dental problems, and you may even may even lose your teeth. Gingivitis may come back if you do not care for your teeth properly at home. The following can help prevent gingivitis or prevent it from getting worse between dental visits:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my dentist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.