Gingivitis is a common oral health problem which is a mild form of gum disease, and this causes several other problems such as irritation, redness and swelling in the gingiva. Gingiva is part of your gum which is located around the base of your teeth. Hence it is an important thing to take the problem of gingivitis seriously and do a proper treatment for it. If it is not treated in a proper manner, if the treatment is delayed then it can also lead to serious gum disease called periodontitis and even tooth loss.
Well, the most common reason which leads to gingivitis is due to poor oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day, and flossing once along with regular dental checkups can help in the prevention of gingivitis largely. It is also said that gingivitis is a common oral health problem which has mild symptoms, but it could end up into a severe condition if the person doesn’t takes care of it properly and doesn’t end the problem from its root cause.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gingivitis?
How to know if you are having a healthy gum line, if your gums are firm and pale pink in colour and if they are fitted tightly around your teeth then they are in healthy form. The signs and symptoms of gingivitis are:
#1. Swollen or puffed-up gums: the major symptom of gingivitis is swollen and puffed-up gums which could be severely painful.
#2. Dusky red or dark red gums: when someone is suffering from gingivitis, his gums tend to turn dusky red or dark red.
#3. Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss: gingivitis tends to cause several other problems, as your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss and this could cause severe pain too.
#4. Bad breath: Gingivitis could lead to bad breath, and hence in order to keep this problem at a bay you need to do the treatment as soon as possible.
#5. Receding gums: receding gums are a major problem of gingivitis.
#6. Tender gums: gingivitis tends to cause tender gums and this could also lead to problems for your teeth too.
So now that you have known what the possible symptoms of gingivitis are, a simple question might arise in your mind when you should visit the dentist?
When To See A Dentist?
If you end up noticing any such signs and symptoms of gingivitis then you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. As because this problem could further lead to several other problems and the sooner you take care there are better the chances of curbing the damages by preventing the progression to periodontitis.
What Are The Causes Of Gingivitis?
As it is already mentioned earlier, the most common cause which causes gingivitis is poor oral hygiene and this it ends up causing plaque to get accumulated on the surface of teeth, this accumulation can end up causing inflammation around the surrounding gum tissues too. So, what can lead to the accumulation of plaque, and that can cause gingivitis?
Plaque is an invisible sticky film which is mainly composed of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth. The formation of plaque usually occurs when the starches and sugars present in food tend to interact with the bacteria which is usually present in your mouth. Hence in order to remove plaque, you should brush and floss on a regular basis. As plaque usually re-forms on your teeth very quickly.
Hardened-up plaque ends up turning into tartar. And tartar makes plaque much more difficult to remove, and this creates a protective shield for bacteria and in turn, it causes irritation along gum lines. Hence if such a situation persists you should go for professional dental cleaning in order to remove the tartar. If the plaque and tartar stay for a longer period of time, they would end up irritating the gingivitis, which is part of your gum and this can also lead to inflammation too. Within a little time, the gums tend to become swollen and hence they can bleed easily. And not just that it can also lead to tooth decaying too. And if it has not been treated gingivitis can even lead to tooth loss.
What Are The Risk Factors Connected To Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a common oral disease and anyone can end up developing it. Below mentioned are some of the factors which can end up increasing your chances and risks of gingivitis.
#1. Not paying attention to your oral habits
#2. Smoking or chewing tobacco
#3. Old age
#4. Dry mouth
#5. Poor nutrition, and diet less amount of vitamin C consumption
#6. Dental restorations that don’t fit properly or crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
#7. Conditions that end up decreasing immunity such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment
#8. Certain drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) for epileptic seizures, and some calcium channel blockers, used for angina, high blood pressure and other conditions
#9. Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy, menstrual cycle or use of birth control pills
#11. Changes in hormones may occur during puberty, menopause, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. The gums may become more sensitive, raising the risk of inflammation.
What Are The Complications?
Not that you have already known what gingivitis is, and what are the symptoms? You should also know the complications too.
Untreated gingivitis can end up progressing to gum disease and it can spread to underlying tissue and bone (periodontitis), and if the situation ends up getting a much more serious condition that can even lead to tooth loss too.
Chronic gingiva inflammation has been thought to be associated with some systemic diseases such as respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis. Some researchers have even suggested that the bacteria are responsible for periodontitis that can enter your bloodstream through the gum tissue, and not just that it can possibly end up affecting your heart, lungs and other parts of your body too. But more studies are needed to confirm a link whether is true or not.
Trench mouth, also known as necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (NUG), is a severe form of gingivitis that causes painful, infected, bleeding gums and ulcerations. Trench mouth is rare today in developed nations, though it’s common in developing countries that have poor nutrition and poor living conditions.
How Should You Prevent Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a very common oral health issue, and as mentioned earlier it can be caused due to several reasons. But how you would prevent this? What should you do in order to prevent this? The answer to this is good oral hygiene. This simply means brushing your teeth twice a day is an essential thing. Once in the morning and night, and apart from that flossing too is required in order to maintain your oral health. Better yet, brush after every meal or snack or as your dentist recommends. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria.
Regular dental visits. See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, as it is always advised to visit your dentist usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis such as having a dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking then, in that case, you may need professional cleaning too. Annual dental X-rays can help in identifying those diseases that are not seen by a visual dental examination and monitor for changes in your dental health.
Good health practices. Practices such as healthy eating and managing blood sugar if you have diabetes also are important things in order to maintain your gum health.
A person may be able to prevent gingivitis at home by practicing regular good oral hygiene. This includes:
Brushing teeth at least twice a day
Using an electric toothbrush
Flossing teeth at least once a day
Regularly rinsing the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.