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Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, has several warning signs. By learning the common symptoms, you can treat the condition right away to prevent it from causing harm to your teeth and gums.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), common warning signs of gingivitis include:

  • Inflammation of the gums: Gums are red, swollen and sensitive to the touch. Gums take on these properties because plaque buildup can irritate the gum tissue.
  • Teeth appear longer: Gumline recession occurs for many people with gingivitis. Recessed gums reveal more of the teeth than healthy gums. Thus, teeth appear longer than they did before the development of gum disease.
  • A Pocket between the tooth and gum: A pocket or area can develop between the tooth and gum. More than one pocket in the mouth may exist. If food particles fall into the pocket, bacteria can grow, the gum tissue may become irritated and if left untreated, an infection may develop.
  • Pus between the tooth and gum: Gum disease is likely if a thick, yellow fluid develops in the pocket between the tooth and gum. The fluid or pus may swell and be painful if pressure builds between the tooth and gum. An infection in the pocket between the tooth and gum is what causes pus to develop. In this situation, this infection could be a periodontal abscess or gum abscess.

Many sufferers of gingivitis have one or all of the abovementioned signs of gingivitis. If you think you may have gum disease, see your dentist for a dental evaluation.

At the dentist’s office, the dental professional can diagnose you properly. If you have gingivitis, your dentist or dental hygienist can recommend products to alleviate the condition and provide directions for how to use the items. The professional will also answer additional questions you have.