Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva). It commonly occurs because of films of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth – plaque/ or bacterial biofilm; this type is called plaque-induced gingivitis. This is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can cause irreversible loss of bone and eventually lead to loss of teeth.
A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth. In mild cases, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, the condition should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.
Generally, it can be resolved with good oral hygiene – longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing. Some people find that using an antiseptic mouthwash, alongside proper tooth brushing and flossing also helps. However, if gum bleeding remains unresolved with the above measures after one week, it would be wise to seek professional help immediately.