Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is a verycommon and mild form of gum disease. And, sometimes, because it is mild, aperson might not even notice that they have it. However, it can cause manyother, more serious gum disease, so, it is important that one pays closeattention to the condition of his or hers teeth. It is estimated that almostninety per cent of Americans have this condition.
The most common cause of gingivitis is plaque. Plaque is mostly composed ofbacteria. It forms on the teeth when starches and sugars in foodinteract with bacteria normally found in a person’s mouth. Brushing one’s teethremoves plaque. But it generally re-forms rather quickly, usually within 24hours. If it has been left on the teeth for two or three days (meaningif one has not brushed his teeth for more than two days), the plaque mightharden the gumline into tartar. This acts as a form of a reservoir forbacteria. The longer that plaque and tartar remain on one’s teeth, the morethey irritate the gingival. And, in time, a person’s gums become swollen andbleed easily.
This is why the best way of preventing this condition is good dental hygiene.This means that a person should brush their teeth at least twice a day, flossonce, and go to the dentist for cleanings every six months.
The common symptoms of gingivitis include: soft, swollen gums,bad breath, gums that bleed easily, and a change in the color of one’s gums(from pink to dusky red).
Factors that might aid the commencement of gingivitis are: smoking, poor oralhealth habits, diabetes, dry mouth, poor nutrition, hormonal changes, andcertain viral or fungal infections.Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a much more seriousform of gum disease. This, in turn, can cause tooth loss and it even raises one’srisk of heart attack and stroke.
Treatment of Gingivitis
This condition is highly treatable. It is only important that a person consults a dentist as soon as they have noticed the first symptoms. So, the first, and obligatory thing that one should do when faced with gingivitis is to goto the dentist. He will do a cleaning of one’s teeth and get rid of the plaque.The next step is to introduce an oral hygiene regimen that one must follow. Itis very important that one brushes and flosses between meals. The dentist mightalso recommend using an antiseptic mouth rinse to clear away any lingering bacteria.