Monday to Friday8AM - 9PM
Address #240 6180 Blundell Rd, Richmond, BC V7C 4W7

Causes and treatment of gingivitis

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums, or gingiva. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the teeth. This is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease, but untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Signs of gingivitis include red and puffy gums, that bleed easily when the person brushes their teeth.

Gingivitis often resolves with good oral hygiene, such as longer and more frequent brushing, and flossing. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash may help.

In mild cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, the condition should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.


There are two main categories of gingival diseases:

Dental plaque-induced gingival disease: This can be caused by plaque, systemic factors, medications, or malnutrition.

Non-plaque induced gingival lesions: This can be caused by a specific bacterium, virus, or fungus. It might also be caused by genetic factors, systemic conditions (including allergic reactions and certain illnesses), wounds, or reactions to foreign bodies, such as dentures. Sometimes, there is no specific cause.


The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth. The plaque triggers an immune response, which, in turn, can eventually lead to the destruction of gingival, or gum, tissue. It may also, eventually, lead to further complications, including the loss of teeth.

Dental plaque is a biofilm that accumulates naturally on the teeth. It is usually formed by colonizing bacteria that are trying to stick to the smooth surface of a tooth.

These bacteria might help protect the mouth from the colonization of harmful microorganisms, but dental plaque can also cause tooth decay, and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis, a gum infection.

When plaque is not removed adequately, it can harden into calculus, or tartar, at the base of the teeth, near the gums. This has a yellow color. Calculus can only be removed professionally.

Plaque and tartar eventually irritate the gums, causing gum inflammation around the base of the teeth. This means that the gums might easily bleed.

Other causes and risk factors

Changes in hormones: This may occur during puberty, menopause, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. The gingiva might become more sensitive, raising the risk of inflammation.

Some diseases: Cancer, diabetes, and HIV are linked to a higher risk of gingivitis.

Drugs: Oral health may be affected by some medications, especially if saliva flow is reduced. Dilantin, an anticonvulsant, and some anti-angina medications can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.

Smoking: Regular smokers more commonly develop gingivitis, compared with non-smokers.

Age: The risk of gingivitis increases with age.

Poor diet: A vitamin-C deficiency, for example, is linked to gum disease.

Family history: Those whose parent or parents have had gingivitis have a higher risk of developing it too. This is thought to be due to the type of bacteria we acquire during our early life.

Written by:
Christine Frank
Health, Prevention


  • Abdul Rinks

    2 July 2023 at 11:46 pm

    Your blog consistently captures my attention throughout. I find myself absorbed in every word you write.


  • Burl Limes

    15 May 2024 at 12:24 pm

    Your dedication and enthusiasm radiate in every section. It’s commendable.


  • Laurice Cushway

    15 May 2024 at 1:47 pm

    Your writing captures the core of the topic in a captivating way.


  • Sage Erichson

    15 May 2024 at 2:26 pm

    I completely agree with your point of view. It hits with us as well. Thank you for explaining it so well.


  • Lucilla Norise

    15 May 2024 at 2:43 pm

    Your zeal is genuinely contagious, leaving no choice but to get enthusiastic about the captivating topics you discuss.


  • Wallace Hayter

    15 May 2024 at 3:39 pm

    Your tips are applicable and realistic; I can see myself implementing them effortlessly.


  • Reggie Terra

    15 May 2024 at 4:16 pm

    Well researched and informative; this post grabs attention.


  • Sophia Waloven

    15 May 2024 at 4:16 pm

    Your content offers something for everyone; it’s useful for both experienced and novice readers.


  • Jared Vitatoe

    15 May 2024 at 4:27 pm

    This post is a thorough guide on the topic; it’s a treasure trove of information.


  • Violette Eberhart

    15 May 2024 at 4:33 pm

    This post has reinforced my belief in the power of acquiring knowledge from others.


  • Lyle Zirbel

    15 May 2024 at 4:36 pm

    Your post is extremely informative. I discovered a lot from it. Thanks for posting.


  • Julio Walkling

    15 May 2024 at 4:50 pm

    This post has given me fresh perspective on the issue, thanks.


  • Elliott Myerson

    15 May 2024 at 5:05 pm

    Your blog captures my attention throughout. I find myself drawn into every word you write.


  • Jillian Rhodehamel

    15 May 2024 at 5:13 pm

    This was such a great read! Thanks for providing your valuable information.


  • Lorie Holding

    15 May 2024 at 5:56 pm

    I never really considered this angle before reading your post; it’s thought-provoking.


  • Leonia Julius

    15 May 2024 at 6:05 pm

    This site offers a wealth of useful information on a variety of topics. Thanks for all that you do.


  • Lorita Williamson

    15 May 2024 at 6:36 pm

    I really appreciate your enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with your readers. Thanks for all that you do.


  • Adam Stanick

    15 May 2024 at 7:06 pm

    You delivered the knowledge in a clear and concise manner, well done.


  • Barry Teague

    15 May 2024 at 7:14 pm

    Your blog has rapidly become my preferred destination for motivation. Thank you for sharing your insights.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment you require.

24/7 Emergency phone
Our Awards

Best Patient Care 2019
Best Practice & Best Team 2018
Best Team & Practice 2017

Working hours