Gingivitis is an inflammation of gums. Gums are part of periodontium or better to say the tissue which surrounds the teeth together with other soft tissue and the jaw bones.
Gingivitis is basically a mild disease. Still there are forms that are more severe and serious. Definitely the most extreme form of gingivitis is acute necrotizing gingivitis which presents in sores on the gums and is potentially lethal. This severe form of gingivitis occurs in imunocompromized patients.
The inflammation of gums may be caused by bacteria. No matter the fact that bacteria are normally present in our mouth, on skin and in intestines and so they can become rather dangerous. Oral cavity is rich in variety of bacteria. Plenty of food and proper conditions lead to their progressive multiplication. In case of weak immunity the bacteria replicate quickly and become unstoppable. They then tend to spread into the places which they normally do not inhabit such as soft tissues, bones and gums.
It has not been established yet why this condition occurs. Still there are numerous theories involved. Some say that plaque is predisposing factor for gingivitis. This may be true as plaque includes plenty of bacteria which are considered as culprits of gingivitis. Indeed people who are prone to plaque have gingivitis often. On the other side not all the people with plaque will develop gingivitis. Certain conditions and diseases lead to gingivitis more. Those include diabetes, leukemia, HIS/AIDS, Addison disease etc. Pregnant women are prone to gingivitis more. Even some medications can lead to the condition.
The symptoms of gingivitis are so obvious that one can be sure he/ she is suffering from gingivitis if notices any of the following. Gums are reddish and edematous. They are painful as well. Bleeding from the gums both spontaneously and during/after brushing teeth is always present. Bad breath even if one maintains good oral hygiene can be patognomonic for this condition. Within time the natural color of gums becomes replaced with shockingly red one. One may avoid flossing as it may lead to even greater pain and more bleeding. The problem is that majority of people tend to stop brushing teeth and flossing once the symptoms have occurred. Still this is extremely wrong as in this way they open the gate for bacteria and these infective villains will multiply even more. So in case of previously mentioned symptoms one should not hesitate and must visit dentist as soon as possible. The longer patient waits the longer he/ she will suffer.