The most common form of gum disease, gingivitis is one of the first signs of a gum infection. It is caused by poor hygiene, but usually is not very serious. Untreated, it can advance in stages, becoming more serious as it does, so taking care of gingivitis at the first sign is a healthy approach.
When brushing your teeth, if you notice the gums starting to bleed, it’s a pretty clear sign of gingivitis. It is caused by plaque hardening around and under the gumline, becoming tartar. The tartar is home to millions of bacteria which feed on tissue and minerals found in the gums and teeth. As they feed, they cause damage, which leads to an infection. Properly cleaning your teeth with brushing, floss, and mouth rinse is the best way to prevent tartar from building up, but your dentist can do a deep cleaning if it gets the best of you.