Board Certified Periodontist, Dr. Scott O. Kissel

Prevention Advice for Gingivitis Patients

After being diagnosed with gingivitis, it’s time to take action. Making the choice now to protect yourself can help prevent more serious gum disease and tooth loss.


The most common cause of gingivitis is improper oral hygiene. Below, Dr. Kissel provides guidance for gingivitis patients on ways to stop the condition from worsening, improve their comfort, and resolve aesthetic issues such as inflamed or bleeding gums.

Brushing and Gingivitis

Oral health professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least two times a day to eliminate plaque (sticky deposits on the teeth where bacteria can grow). However, it is possible that your technique could be causing additional damage to your gums. Try the following:


  • When you brush the outer surfaces of your teeth, turn the brush at a 45-degree angle, moving it along where your gums meet your teeth.
  • Move the brush in a gentle circular motion. Use light pressure but not so much that you feel any discomfort. Use the same approach to clean the inside of your back teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, hold the brush vertically and move it gently back and forth over the teeth. Also, brush the surrounding gums.
  • Clean the biting surfaces of your teeth with short, gentle strokes.
  • Be sure to rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened.

Flossing for Gingivitis Patients

Periodontal disease often occurs between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing once a day using the right technique can remove plaque from these areas. Here’s how:


  • Lightly wrap one end of waxed floss around the middle finger of each hand.
  • Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and gently insert the floss between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
  • Curve the floss against one of the teeth. Slide it towards the space between your gums and teeth until you feel light resistance. Don’t force or snap the floss into place.
  • Move the floss up and down the side of each tooth. Be careful not to use too much pressure against the gum tissue.
  • After you’ve flossed, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles.


Don’t worry if your gums bleed slightly or are a little sore in the first week of flossing, especially with a diagnosis of gingivitis. Over time, your gums should heal and these conditions will go away. However, do take note if your gums hurt while you floss, as you may be using too much force.

Ongoing Care

Periodontist Dr. Kissel can make several recommendations to help you resolve and prevent gingivitis. For example, he may develop a custom technique that works for you to stop the progress of early-stage gum disease.


There may be deeper areas of your mouth that you cannot reach effectively with brushing and flossing. Our practice regularly performs scaling and root planing procedures, which clean the gum pockets thoroughly. Dr. Kissel utilizes microscopic instruments in order to find and remove as much plaque as possible.

Take the first step toward exceptional health for your gums.

Call gingivitis expert Dr. Scott Kissel at 212-702-9088 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.