Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Gingivitis is the initial, early stages of gum disease and describes the irritation, redness and inflammation (swelling) of your gingiva, which is the part of the gum around the base of your teeth.

A condition that needs to be taken seriously, if allowed to progress it can turn into the more serious periodontal disease, which has been known to cause tooth loss and reduction of bone in the jaw.

If you suspect that you have gingivitis or gum disease, we recommend coming into our office to undergo an assessment with one of our periodontists to distinguish which stage of gum disease you might be experiencing. Getting gingivitis treated now can save so many headaches and problems in the future.

dental implant procedure

Our patients often ask:

Here are fast answers from the dentist regarding the patient’s biggest concerns around gingivitis…

How do you fix gingivitis? Gingivitis can be easily reversed with rigorous oral hygiene and cleaning.

How long does it take to get rid of gingivitis? Those with gingivitis because of poor oral hygiene can expect to reverse the effects in around 10-14 days.

How do you know if you have gingivitis? Your gums will appear red, swollen and will bleed when you brush, eat or floss. Bad breath and tenderness is also a sign.

What are the early stages of gingivitis? Bleeding is one of the earliest and most common warning signs of gingivitis.

Gingivitis symptoms

How do you know if you have gingivitis?

  • Bleeding on probing, brushing, flossing, eating etc
  • Tender, sore or swollen gums that do not go away
  • Bad breath that does not go away
  • Bad/metallic taste in the mouth
  • Receding or painful gums
  • Loose teeth/changes in the way your teeth bite down
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
single tooth implants surrey

Quick contact

Common causes

Gingivitis commonly occurs due to a sticky film of bacteria, or plaque accumulates and builds upon the teeth. When permitted to harden, the plaque turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.

What causes gingivitis?

  • Smoking/tobacco use
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Not cleaning away plaque correctly
  • Stress and hormonal changes
  • Poor nutrition
dentist london
gum disease problems

Gingivitis vs Periodontitis

These are two words you really do not want to hear from your dentist. But what’s the difference between these two very serious diseases?

Gingivitis is a gum inflammation which more often than not, proceeds into periodontitis (the leading cause of tooth loss in adults).

The main difference between the two of them is that gingivitis is reversible, periodontitis is not. Patients should be concerned about displaying gingivitis symptoms because it’s these warning signs that point to bigger problems like periodontal disease.

Once you have progressed to periodontitis, then it poses risks for further dental procedures like implants (for tooth loss), for example, which require a healthy mouth and sufficient bone. Both of which gum disease destroys.

Gingivitis treatment – is it curable?

Not all gingivitis cases progress to periodontitis.

Gingivitis can often be taken care of at home, however, due to the seriousness surrounding the progression of the infection, it is always best to consult with a dentist to make sure you are doing everything you can to reverse the effects.

The best thing we can do to treat gingivitis during this early gum disease stage is effective cleaning, where you will have to maintain a good oral standard at home.

orthodontics london
brush happy

How to cure gingivitis in a week

  • Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste
  • Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash
  • Brush your teeth and gums for at 2 minutes twice daily
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
  • Check your gums in the mirror often to notice changes in colour or texture
  • Cut back in foods that are high in sugar

By continuing to do this routine after getting rid of gingivitis, it will act as a good preventative measure to keep it from ever returning.

As dentists, we would also recommend that you visit a hygienist every six months for a deep clean to ensure your gums are in good condition.

Scared about the progression of your gingivitis?

The only true way to see the state of your oral health is by booking an appointment with the dentist, who can assess your condition.

For any of our patients considering dental implants, gingivitis will need to be looked at and treated before we can safely and securely position an implant as this can cause implant failure.

Call 020 8224 7562 to review your options now.

Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)

Get an interest-free loan in under 5 minutes

It only takes 2 minutes to apply and you’ll get an answer immediately – applying for a loan has never been easier.

0% finance is available for many treatments up to £30,000. Credit decisions will be subject to individual circumstances. You must be over 18 and earn an income to apply.

Single Implants

Often used in simple cases where one tooth has been lost by accident or trauma. More.

Multiple Implants

Used in cases of multiple tooth loss in different locations in the mouth, where teeth are not missing in a row. More.


Perfect for full mouth reconstructions, where patients have experienced tooth loss on the upper and lower jaws. More.


When securing implants to the jawbone is not possible, zygomatic implants are used to attach to the bone in the cheekbone. More.
Available to Chat whatsappimage