What is Gingivitis?

From internet pop-up ads to droning commercials on TV at all hours of the night, there’s been a constant barrage of “Gingivitis!”, “Gum Disease like Gingivitis” and “use our product to avoid gingivitis.”, but how many of us really understand what gingivitis is, what causes it, and how to avoid it?  We’ve put together this handy guide to help you identify the signs of gingivitis, understand its causes, and to help you understand not just what to do to avoid it, but how these things help mitigate its appearance and the damage to your teeth it causes.

What, Exactly, Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of your gums that results in swelling, tenderness, and is one of the reasons you might see blood on your toothbrush.  It is also the precursor to the more destructive periodontitis, a condition that can result in damaged guns, teeth, and even jaw. Two forms of gingivitis exist, each the result of different conditions.

• Plaque Based Gingival Disease – When dental plaque, the yellow substance that forms on teeth, goes unchecked it can serve as a host for bacteria that can cause symptoms associated with gingivitis.  This can include the puffiness and tenderness mentioned above. Occasionally this form of gingivitis is caused by other factors including medications and malnutrition.
• Gingival Lesions – These open sores on the gums can have origins in a number of factors. These include wounds, systemic conditions, allergic reactions, and even dentures.

Any form of gingivitis you may experience will fall into one of these two categories, and treatment from your dentist will be determined based on their cause.

How Do I Avoid Getting Gingivitis?
Now that we’ve discussed what gingivitis is, we need to discuss some of the ways in which we can get it.  While there’s a lot of talk about the most common source of gingivitis, poor dental hygiene, there are a significant number of things that can be involved.  Complications from conditions like cancer, HIV, and diabetes are often correlated with gum disease, as is age, poor diet, smoking, even pregnancy, and menopause have been shown to contribute to the formation of gingivitis.  The best way to avoid contracting gingivitis is to communicate with your dentist, practice good dental hygiene, and keep your health professionals informed of all medical conditions you have.

What Symptoms Reveal The Presence Of Gingivitis?
The first sign that you may be dealing with a case of gingivitis may be the coloration of your gums.  This supporting structure of your teeth can be seen to turn a deep red or purple when the infection first sets in, and as it goes on you may experience bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth.  When you’re experiencing symptoms like these it’s time to make a call to Dr. Adeola Faleye at The Orthodontic Clinic in Bartlett, TN. They’ve been serving the Bartlett community and surrounding areas with exceptional dental health care for years, and are proud to help keep the smiles of their customers healthy and bright throughout their lives.


Dr. Adeola Faleye

From our two locations in Bartlett and Memphis, TN, The Orthodontic Clinic P.C. proudly serves our community with the assistance of our team of orthodontic experts. We provide flexible appointment times and personalized care that ensures the incredible results you need and a beautiful smile that will be with you forever.


Call us at:



The Orthodontic Clinic, P.C.


Bartlett Location:


6637 Summer Knoll Circle, Suite 102

Bartlett, TN 38134


East Memphis Location:


1713 Kirby Parkway

Memphis, TN 38120


Fax:  901 507 4772







Use our contact form to get in touch.



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