Symptoms of gingivitis include bad breath, receding gums, swollen gums and puffy gums, according to Mayo Clinic. Some people with gingivitis may experience gums that are occasionally tender, soft gums, or gums that change from standard pink to a dark red color.
Gingivitis may cause some people to bleed from their gums when flossing or brushing, notes Mayo Clinic. This may be identified by a pink or red hue left on floss or a toothbrush after use. Gingivitis does not usually cause pain, so some people may have it without realizing it. Healthy gums should be firm and light pink.
If symptoms of gingivitis are detected, it is important to schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible, as treating it quickly may prevent the disease from progressing, states Mayo Clinic. Most dentists recommend regular checkups so that conditions can be treated before they become severe.
Gingivitis is a common disease, notes Mayo Clinic. Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of gingivitis, but viral or fungal infections, tobacco use, old age and diabetes can also cause it. Other causes of gingivitis include certain medications, substance abuse, a lowered immune system due to diseases, and hormonal changes, such as the those caused by pregnancy, birth control or menstruation. Dental restorations that do not fit properly can cause gingivitis, and a poor diet can also contribute.