Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, occurs in response to the bacteria in plaque that accumulates near the gum line. It is characterized by redness, swelling or bleeding gums. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and progression can further extend to Periodontitis if left unchecked. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gingiva that does not result in clinical attachment loss such as the case with dental pocket formation. Clinical indications of gingivitis are characterized by areas of acute gum inflammation. Most lesions are transient or persistent but not progressive.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis are a part of the same inflammatory disease and while not all patients with gingivitis will progress to Periodontitis, management of gingivitis is both a primary prevention strategy for Periodontitis and a secondary prevention strategy for recurrent Periodontitis. Gingivitis is a reversible disease! Therapy is aimed primarily at reduction of plaque/tartar to reduce or eliminate inflammation, thereby allowing gingival tissues to heal. Appropriate periodontal maintenance includes personal and professional care that is also important in preventing re-initiation of inflammation.