Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD Patient Handout


About Your Diagnosis

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. It is caused by poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition.

Living With Your Diagnosis
Signs and symptoms include swelling and redness of the soft areas around the teeth, which become tender; bleeding of the gums; and constant bad breath.

Frequent checkups by your dentist are needed. If an infection is present you may need antibiotics. Vitamins may be prescribed if you have a deficiency. A fluoride mouthwash may also be prescribed. Careful brushing of the teeth with a softbristled toothbrush and flossing daily are important. Avoid foods high in sugar because they stimulate the production of acid that attacks the teeth. Eat a well-balanced diet. In severe cases, the dentist may have to perform surgery to remove infected tissue.

The DOs
• Visit your dentist regularly.
• Follow proper brushing techniques to maximize the cleaning of the area between the gums and teeth.
• Floss daily.
• Eat a well-balanced diet.
• Take a vitamin supplement.
• Avoid foods high in sugar.
• Change your toothbrush frequently.

The DON’Ts
• Don’t brush with a hard-bristled brush that may irritate the gums.
• Don’t stop taking antibiotics before they are finished if your doctor or dentist has prescribed them.

When to Call Your Doctor
• If a high fever develops.
• If excessive bleeding from the gums occurs.
• If pain in the gums or teeth is present.

American Dental Association