How Do You Get Gingivitis to Go Away?

Reviewed on 12/14/2022

Can You Get Rid of Gingivitis Yourself?

A person with gingivitis (gum disease) with bleeding gums
Mild gingivitis may be able to go away with good oral hygiene at home such as brushing teeth at least two times daily, flossing regularly, not smoking, as well as getting regular dental check-ups.

Gingivitis is the most common form of periodontal (gum) disease caused by bacteria in the gums due to a buildup of plaque. Most adults have some signs of gingival (gum) inflammation. 

You can get mild gingivitis to go away with good oral hygiene such as:

  • Brushing teeth at least two times daily 
    • Brush for about two minutes
    • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • Flossing regularly
  • Not smoking 
  • Getting regular dental check-ups

For more severe gingivitis, treatment may involve:

  • Scaling
    • A professional dental cleaning that removes plaque and tartar (hardened plaque)
  • Root planing (debridement)
    • A deep clean under the gums to remove bacteria at the roots of teeth
  • Surgery, such as tooth extraction 

Treatment for acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG), which is a painful infection of the gums, includes the above along with: 

What Are Symptoms of Gingivitis?

Gingivitis (gum disease) may not always have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, early symptoms of gingivitis may include: 

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing teeth

If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis (also called periodontal disease), which also affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Symptoms of periodontitis may include:

Rarely, a painful infection of the gums called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) can develop suddenly. It occurs more frequently in smokers and people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms are more severe than those of regular gingivitis and may include:

  • Bleeding, painful gums
  • Painful ulcers
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums in between teeth
  • Excess saliva in the mouth
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or talking
  • Fever

What Causes Gingivitis?

A build-up of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that coats the teeth, causes gingivitis (gum disease), usually due to poor oral hygiene. When plaque is not removed regularly with proper oral hygiene including brushing and flossing, it can build up and cause gum inflammation, tenderness, redness, and bleeding. 

Risk factors for gingivitis include:  

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Reviewed on 12/14/2022
Image source: iStock Images