Posted on: 9 October 2015
Gingivitis is a simple, non-destructive disease of the gums. This is an early condition which results from the inflammation of the gum tissues. However, when gingivitis is left untreated, the disease will evolve into periodontitis. This means that the inflamed tissues will be damaged irreversibly, and the teeth structure and the supporting bone will be broken down. The primary cause of gingivitis is plaque, the film which is constantly formed by bacteria on the teeth and gums after eating. If this plaque is not removed frequently, the bacteria will produce toxic substances which will irritate your oral cavity. These toxins will attack the gum tissues and cause the gingival inflammation. It is critical for you to understand this condition so that you can mitigate its progress. Here is a brief description of the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options for gingivitis.
Gingivitis is rarely painful, so it is easy to allow the condition to escalate without noticing its existence. However, if you examine your oral health regularly, you will be able to identify changes that indicate the occurrence of gingival inflammation. Ideally, your gum is supposed to be firm, and the colour should be pale pink. When gingivitis occurs, your gum tissue will become puffy and somewhat dusky red. The gum will also start bleeding easily, especially when you brush and floss. You will also identify swelling and tenderness when pressure is exerted on the affected areas. As the condition progresses, your gums will start receding and halitosis may develop.
Gingivitis is a relatively common disease, so anyone can develop the condition. However, there are people who are more vulnerable to the disease due to certain aspects of their lives. Poor oral hygiene is the most important risk factor in the gingival inflammation. If you do not brush and floss frequently, you will allow plaque to develop and attack your gums. You are also susceptible to gingivitis if you have medical conditions that weaken your immune system. Common diseases that compromise immunity include leukaemia, diabetes and bacterial and viral infections. Chemical substances such as pharmaceuticals and tobacco can also make your oral cavity ideal for plaque growth. In addition, poor nutrition and unsuitable dental restorations will compromise your gum health.
Gingivitis is a reversible dental condition, so your health will be restored by elimination of plaque. You should re-establish a good teeth-cleaning routine, and consult your family dentist for prophylaxis, which involves removal of accumulated plaque deposits. Antimicrobial washes are also ideal for keeping the mouth free of bacteria.Share