Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness and swelling (inflammation) of your gums. Because gingivitis can be mild, you may not be aware that you have the condition. But it’s important to take gingivitis seriously and treat it promptly. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease (periodontitis) and eventual tooth loss. When teeth are not properly cleaned, plaque forms on the tooth’s surface.Plaque can cause irritation of the gums, making them red and slightly swollen causing them to bleed – this is gingivitis. More serious forms of gum disease such as periodontitis start with gingivitis.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Red, swollen or tender gums that bleed when brushed or flossed
- Bad breath
- Soft, puffy gums
- Receding gums
- A change in the color of your gums from a healthy pink to dusky red
Good management of gingivitis is a sign of good oral hygiene. This helps prevent halitosis, bleeding gums and other more serious dental diseases. Remember, there is a link between oral health and overall health.
- Poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque to form. Plaque that stays on your teeth longer than two or three days can harden under your gumline into tartar (calculus)
- The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily.
- Tooth decay (dental caries) also may result.
Factors that can increase your risk of gingivitis include:
- Poor oral health habits
- Tobacco use
- Older age
- Decreased immunity as a result of leukemia, HIV/AIDS or other conditions
- Certain medications
- Certain viral and fungal infections
- Dry mouth
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy, your menstrual cycle or use of birth control pills
- Poor nutrition
- Substance abuse
- Ill-fitting dental restorations
So how do you prevent periodontal disease? 4 easy steps:
- Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash
- Get regular oral checkups and cleanings from a dental professional
Leave a reply →