Gingivitis, a common and mild form of gum disease, leads to irritation, redness, and swelling of the gum tissue that encircles the base of your teeth (gingiva). Addressing gingivitis promptly and with proper attention is essential. Neglecting it can escalate into periodontitis, a more severe gum disease, potentially resulting in tooth loss.
The primary factor behind gingivitis is inadequate oral hygiene. However, this condition can be both prevented and managed by adopting effective oral care habits, such as brushing a minimum of two times a day, flossing daily, and maintaining regular dental check–ups.
Gums that are in good health are tight–fitting around the teeth, firm, and pale pink in color. An example of gingivitis symptoms and signs is:
- Swollen or tender gums
- The gums looks red or dusky
- Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth or flossing
- Gum recession
- Bad breath
If you detect any symptoms or signs of gingivitis, it’s important to arrange a dental visit without delay. Seeking prompt medical attention increases your likelihood of addressing the effects of gingivitis and halting its progression into periodontitis.
Gingivitis commonly arises due to inadequate oral hygiene, which promotes the buildup of plaque on teeth. This buildup triggers inflammation in the nearby gum tissues. The progression from plaque to gingivitis occurs as follows:
- Plaque forms on your teeth. When the starches and sugars in food mix with the bacteria ordinarily present in your mouth, plaque, an invisible, sticky film primarily made of bacteria, forms on your teeth. Plaque must be removed every day since it quickly reforms.
- Plaque turns into tartar. Remaining plaque on your teeth has the potential to solidify into tartar (calculus), which gathers microorganisms. Tartar acts as a barrier for germs, making it more difficult to eliminate plaque, and irritating the gumline. Tartar removal requires a dental cleaning by a professional.
- Gingiva become inflamed (gingivitis). The gingiva, the area of your gum at the base of your teeth, becomes more irritated and inflamed the longer plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on your teeth. Your gums eventually swell up and start to bleed readily. Dental caries, or tooth decay, could also ensue. Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and eventually result in tooth loss if it is not treated.
Gingivitis is a condition that can affect anyone. Individuals might have a higher susceptibility to developing gingivitis if they possess:
- Old age
- Poor oral hygiene
- Using tobacco
- Dry mouth
- Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin C
- Improperly fitting dental implants or difficult–to–clean teeth with crookedness
- Medical conditions that suppress the immune system, like leukemia, HIV/AIDS, or undergoing cancer treatment
- A number of medications, including calcium channel blockers used to treat angina, high blood pressure, and other illnesses, and phenytoin for epileptic seizures
- Health issues such certain viral and fungus infections
- Hormonal alterations brought on by pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, or the use of birth control pills
- People who are uneducated beyond the high school level and those who are in poverty. Many diseases have links to these factors.