Bad breath caused by gingivitis can be embarrassing and is often accompanied by other uncomfortable symptoms.

Fortunately, this mild form of gum disease is common and can usually be easily managed. However, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

How do I know if I have gingivitis?

Symptoms Aren't Always Present but There Are Common Signs You May Notice


When infected, gums may appear red or puffy. This occurs because the accumulation of plaque begins to irritate the gum tissue.


Once the gums become inflamed, they are more prone to bleeding when brushing or flossing

Bad Breath

Medically referred to as halitosis, bad breath is a common side effect of gingivitis caused by bacteria trapped in the mouth.

So what happens to my gums if I have gingivitis?

Before Treatment, Gum Tissue is Irritated

Am I at risk of gingivitis?

Some People Are More Likely to Develop Gingivitis

While gingivitis is common, there are certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop the condition, such as:

  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Genetics
  • Poor fitting restorations
  • Teeth grinding
  • Certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Compromised immune system

Additionally, pregnant women often experience gum inflammation and irritation due to hormonal changes

So what actually causes gingivitis?

Built-up Plaque Causes Gums to Become Infected

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that forms on the surface of the teeth when bacteria accumulate in the mouth. 

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How Does it Develop?

While plaque starts on the teeth, it can eventually make its way down to the gum line, becoming tartar. Tartar hardens over plaque-causing bacteria to further collect and produce toxins.

Why Does it Affect the Gums so Much?

This causes the gum tissue to become irritated, and without a professional cleaning, infected. Gingivitis can then escalate to periodontitis and even tooth loss

Is gingivitis really that common?

Nearly Half of American Adults Suffer from Gum Disease

How is gingivitis diagnosed?

Your Doctor Can Easily Identify Gingivitis

During an examination, your doctor will evaluate your gums and teeth for signs of gingivitis. They will also use a special tool to measure the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums. 

Are there things I can do to prevent gingivitis?

Three Easy Ways You Can Reduce Your Risk of Gingivitis

Maintaining Good oral Hygiene

You should brush your teeth twice and floss every day. A well-maintained oral hygiene routine can help prevent plaque from accumulating. 

Attending Bi-Annual Cleanings & Exams

During your bi-annual checkup, your teeth will be professionally cleaned removing plaque and tartar. Your doctor will also perform a comprehensive exam during which they will look for any signs of gingivitis.

Avoiding Harmful Habits

Tobacco and starchy or sugary foods can increase plaque buildup. Quit smoking and ensure you maintain a well-balanced diet can help reduce your risk of developing gingivitis. 

Is treatment time-sensitive?

Treating Gingivitis Early & Maintaing Good Habits Can Recover Your Oral Health

"Gingivitis treatment is of utmost importance when you first see the symptoms appear in your mouth. Between professional dental care and oral hygiene habits at home, your gum issues should begin to get better with continuous care." Colgate®

Scaling & Root Planing is the First Line of Defense

During a deep cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, the doctor will remove bacteria and tartar along the tooth surfaces and below the gum line. They will then smooth the root surfaces, closing the pockets and helping to prevent further plaque accumulation

Are there any other treatment options?

What do I do if I think I may have gingivitis?

Schedule a Consultation

If you notice your gums are bleeding when brushing or have persistent bad breath, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to protect your oral health.

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Manhattan Dental Practices

236 E 36 Street
New York, NY 10016

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