The meaning of Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Generally gingivitis causes red and puffy gums. That bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. It’s caused by bacteria that accumulate on our teeth also called plaque. Gingivitis is a relatively harmless type of periodontal disease. Usually resolved with good oral hygiene but if left untreated, it may progress and eventually lead to loss of teeth.
First of all there are two main categories of gingival diseases.
Dental plaque-induced gingival disease. Caused by plaque, systemic factors, medications or malnutrition.
Non-plaque induced gingival lesions. Caused by a specific bacterium; a specific virus; fungus; genetic factors; systemic conditions; traumatic lesions; by reactions to foreign bodies or just plain; gum inflammations without known causes.
Other causes can be;
- A result of hormonal Changes during puberty, menopause, during menstrual cycle or pregnancy.
- Diseases like Cancer, diabetes, and HIV.
- Medications, especially if it causes saliva flow to deminish. Dilantin (anticonvulsant) and some anti-angina medications may also cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
- Family history
Main sign and symptom of gingivitis is pain and swelling in the gums.
Others may include;
- Bright red or purple gums.
- Tender or painful
- Bleed easily
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Soft gums
Gingivitis is caused by accumulation of plaque and tartar. This accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth, can trigger an immune response. In turn this can eventually lead to the destruction of gingival tissue. Tooth loss is another complication.
Dental plaque accumulates naturally on the teeth. It is usually formed by bacteria that stick to the smooth surface of a tooth. Some experts say these bacteria may help protect the mouth from harmful microorganisms. Dental plaque can cause tooth decay, and other periodontal problems.
Plaque must be removed; to avoid an accumulation of tartar which is that yellow mass that sticks to the base of the teeth, near the gums. Tartar can only be removed professionally.
Plaque and tartar eventually irritate the gums.
At every visit dentists check for any signs of gingivitis; such as plaque and tartar in the oral cavity.
- Removal of plaque and tartar called scaling.
- Maintaining oral hygiene, by effectively brushing and flossing
- Periodic cleaning
- Fixing teeth for oral hygiene to be effective.
In the vast majority of cases, gingivitis does not cause any complications if cared for. If and when patients follow the dental health professional’s instructions there should be no reason to worry. Yet, if the condition goes untreated, gum disease can spread and affect tissue, teeth and bones, leading to periodontitis.
Complications from gingivitis are abscess and or infection in the gingival and or jaw bone. Other more serious coplications may include recurrent gingivitis and trench mouth. This is an ulceration of the gums caused by bacterial infection.