Tooth in inflamed gum

Gingivitis: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

The main cause of gingivitis is dental plaque. If not removed regularly, plaque can accumulate between your teeth and around the gums causing them to become red, swollen and sometimes bleed.

Helping prevent and treat gingivitis at home is possible if you adopt a thorough and consistent oral hygiene regimen. Adding a WATERPIK water flosser to your daily routine is one of the most effective methods for removing plaque and debris that brushing and string flossing miss. It's an easy, at-home gingivitis treatment.

Gingivitis Symptoms

It's especially important to watch for signs of gingivitis because untreated gingivitis can become periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that causes gum recession and eventually tooth and bone loss.

Gingivitis generally does not cause pain on its own, but it can cause gum tenderness and other unpleasant physical symptoms, such as these:

  • Swollen or spongy gums
  • Red coloration of the gums
  • Bleeding of the gums (which can happen during routine brushing)
  • Bad breath

Gingivitis may only affect a small area of the mouth in the early stages. If allowed to progress, gingivitis can affect the entire mouth.

Early intervention is important, so if you suspect gingivitis is present, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. He or she can help you with an at-home plan to resolve your gingivitis.

Causes of Gingivitis

The leading cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene which leads to plaque formation. Plaque is bacteria that needs to be removed every 24 hours or it is likely to harden and become tarter. Removing tarter requires the expertise your dental professional.


Plaque tends to form along the gumline and between teeth where traditional brushing and string flossing miss. If plaque and tartar stay in place long enough, they can irritate and eventually inflame your gums. That inflammation is gingivitis.

While gingivitis is caused by plaque and subsequent tartar, other factors like diabetes and dry mouth may also increase your risk.

Treating Gingivitis

Many people wonder if gingivitis is reversible. The good news is that by consulting your dentist and adopting better tooth- and gum-cleaning methods, you can slow, halt, or even reverse the condition.

Daily Brushing & Flossing

All successful oral care routines incorporate both daily brushing and string flossing. Adding a WATERPIK water flosser will elevate your regimen.

The WATERPIK water flosser delivers an effective and invigorating clean with warm pulsating water. It thoroughly cleans all areas of the mouth including hard-to-reach areas like back teeth and under the gumline.

Clinical research shows that the WATERPIK water flosser is up to 50% more effective than traditional string floss for improving gum health. It also removes up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas.

Preventable & Treatable

Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable. With an effective at-home routine, advice and intervention from your dentist, and cleanings from your dental hygienist, you can form an appropriate gingivitis treatment and prevention plan.