Signs That You May Have Gingivitis

woman checking inside her mouth with her tongueGingivitis is one of the more well-known dental conditions, thanks in large part to toothpaste and mouthwash commercials that tout their brands’ ability to fight it. Still, not everyone is aware of the dangers that ignoring gingivitis can pose, or what to look for even if they wanted to keep an eye out for the disease. With ample experience helping patients protect and restore their healthy smiles, your Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, briefly explains the common signs of gingivitis, or early gum disease.

What to Look Out For

Darkened and/or bleeding gums

Gum disease, which is what gingivitis develops into if left alone, affects the soft periodontal tissue (gums) that seal and protect the roots of your teeth. It begins with the bacteria found in dental plaque, which can overwhelm your mouth’s natural defenses in the midst of inadequate hygiene. As the germs infect your gums, the tissues can bleed, especially when brushing and flossing your teeth, or from the pressures of biting and chewing your food.

Sensitive teeth and gums

As gingivitis progresses, your gums can become swollen and sensitive. As the infection causes your gums to recede, or separate, from your teeth, the resulting pockets can expose your teeth’s roots, making them sensitive to stimulation.

Loose teeth                 

Your gums not only protect your teeth roots, they also help hold them securely in place as they emerge from your jawbone. When gingivitis and gum disease compromise your gum tissue, they can lose some of their grip on your teeth, which can become loose and eventually fall out. In fact, untreated gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

Bad breath

Beside your teeth and gums, gum disease can also seriously affect the odors emanating from your mouth. Chronic bad breath is one of the most common indications of gingivitis, and can be caused by the infected tissues as well as certain oral bacteria.


Dr. Ryan Hussong is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental in Polk City office today at (515) 984-6001. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Polk City, Ankeny, Grimes, Ames, Johnston, Urbandale, and Des Moines.