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Gingivitis is an infection of the teeth and gums and is caused by neglect. By not brushing and flossing regularly, you allow plaque and tartar to build up, eventually causing some of the signs and symptoms we will talk about throughout this post. If allowed to fester long enough, gingivitis can even get beneath the gums and infect the jawbone.

Here are the signs to look for if you are afraid that either you or your child has gingivitis.

Chronic Bad Breath

Needless to say, the idea of bacteria growing and harvesting inside your mouth does not paint a pretty picture. Well, it doesn’t smell good either. And if you do in fact have gingivitis, the problem of bad breath has likely advanced to a stage where it will not be remedied simply by brushing and gargling.

Pain in Your Gums

Gingivitis causes gums to become swollen, puffy, and tender. None of this feels good. You may even find that they bleed, particularly when you brush. Unfortunately, the pain will make you want to brush your teeth even less, and, as that is precisely what brought about gingivitis in the first place, this becomes a vicious cycle.

Receding Gums

As the bacteria in your mouth is quite literally eating away at your gums, they will begin to recede after a while. So if you notice your teeth looking larger, you may have gingivitis. Another visual element of infected gums is that they may appear a darker shade of red than usual.


In extreme cases, you will see pockets appear between your gums and your teeth. These pockets are formulated by the pus that they contain.

Other symptoms to watch out for are teeth that feel sensitive and that are turning yellow and brown. While these are not exactly indicative of gingivitis, they do hint that you are not taking good enough care of your teeth, and that a serious infection may be on the horizon.

If all of this sounds unpleasant, that’s because it absolutely is. Gingivitis is painful and, if left unchecked, it will affect not only your oral health but your overall health as well. Its symptoms are also of a nature that tend to make people very self conscious and therefore can even have a detrimental effect on their social lives. All of this is very good reason to brush and floss at least twice a day. And if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, call your dentist right away!