What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a very common but mild form of gum disease that causes swelling of the gums. Mild gum disease occurs due to the presence of plaque in the mouth especially near the margin between the gum and the tooth. Plaque is a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on the exposed parts of the teeth. If plaque is not removed effectively by brushing or cleaning your teeth and gums at least once every 24 hours, the bacteria it produces release toxins that cause the gums to become inflamed.

The gums become swollen and tender and will bleed if brushed, these are the signs of gingivitis (mild gum disease). Because gingivitis is mostly a mild condition, it can often go undetected. In its early stages it is a completely reversible condition that can be treated simply by cleaning the gums and teeth properly. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more harmful gum disease in individuals who are susceptible to the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis, which affects the tissue that holds the teeth in place. Left untreated, periodontitis can lead to jaw bone decay and teeth becoming loose or falling out. Gum abscesses – painful collections of pus – can also develop.

Treatment

Mild gum disease can usually be treated with good oral hygiene – brushing the teeth correctly at least twice a day. A dentist may recommend visiting a dental hygienist. They will address any concerns noted by the dentist and will then give the teeth a more thorough clean using special equipment and tools to remove any hardened plaque, called tartar.

To help prevent plaque build-up in future, ask the dentist or hygienist for oral hygiene tips and recommendations for types of toothbrushes, flossing, interdental brushes and mouthwashes.

Severe gum disease may require surgical treatment by a dental specialist.

Preventing Gum Disease

Good oral hygiene helps reduce the risk of gum disease with regular tooth brushing, and other steps your dentist may recommend, such as flossing or using mouth wash. Other healthy habits and lifestyle changes can also help, including:

Stopping smoking
Reducing stress to help the immune system and avoid problems like grinding teeth
Eating a healthy balanced diet.

If your gums are bleeding or you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you may have gum disease, the sooner we start treating it, the sooner we can resolve the problem. Call us today on 046 9021348.