What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease. This disease involves inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets.

Symptoms

  • Swollen gums
  • Soft, puffy gums
  • Receding gums
  • Occasionally, tender gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, sometimes seen as redness or pinkness on your brush or floss
  • A change in the colour of your gums from a healthy pink to dusky red
  • Bad breath

Causes

The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque to form. Plaque is an invisible, sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. Plaque forms on your teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth each day removes plaque. Plaque requires daily removal because it re-forms quickly, usually within 24 hours.

Plaque that stays on your teeth longer than two or three days can harden under your gumline into tartar. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and creates a protective shield for bacteria. You can’t get rid of tartar by brushing and flossing. In order for you to remove it you must see a professional dental cleaning to remove it.

Complications

  • Tooth loss
  • Recurrence of gingivitis
  • Infection or abscess of the gingiva or the jaw bones

Prevention

  • Regular oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing
  • Interdental brushes are also useful in cleaning the teeth from plaque

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