Gingivitis or inflammation of the gums is a mild condition that causes bad breath, red and swollen gums, bleeding of the gums and mouth pain. It is caused due to bacterial growth in the mouth and if left untreated may lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Since it is a mild condition it often goes unnoticed. Poor oral hygiene causing plaque buildup is the main cause for gingivitis. Plaque left for more than 2-3 days hardens to form calculus or tartar. This tartar and plaque irritate the gingiva or the gums at the base of the tooth. Regular visits to your dentist help in the identification of gingivitis, caries and other dental problems. Professional treatment such as scaling along with practicing good oral hygiene reverses and stops the progress of gingivitis.