Gingivitis is defined as the early or first stage of gum disease (periodontal disease). That might sound scary but it is reversible! It is a condition that affects the gums. Gingivitis occurs when plaque and tartar build up along the gum line. Symptoms include gums that bleed easily, may have a red swollen appearance, and may even be tender to the touch. Bad breath is also a classic sign of gingivitis. When gingivitis is detected early it is easily treated and reversed, this is why it is essential to maintain your 6 month cleaning and exams with your general dentist. Having good brushing and flossing habits are the first and best defense against gingivitis.