Why Stop Gingivitis
Gingivitis is an often painful inflammation of the gums, or gingiva. It typically occurs due to plaque buildup on the teeth.
Key points about gingivitis include:
- Bacterial buildup around the teeth is the most common cause of gingivitis.
- The main symptom of gingivitis is red, puffy gums that may bleed when a person brushes their teeth.
- Gingivitis often resolves with good oral hygiene, such as longer and more frequent brushing, and regular flossing. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash may help.
This article details the types, causes, and symptoms of gingivitis. It also discusses what a person can do to treat and prevent gingivitis.
Find Out More About Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal diseaseTrusted Source. People may generally refer to this as gum disease. Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease and typically produces mild symptoms.
There are two main types of gingivitis. Dental plaque-induced gingivitis occursTrusted Source when plaque buildup irritates a person’s gums, resulting in inflammation, discoloration, and pain.
In contrast, non-plaque-induced gingival lesions can result from a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Allergic reactions, illnesses, and reactions to foreign bodiesTrusted Source, such as dentures, may also cause this type of gingivitis.
Both types of gingivitis can progress to periodontitis if a person does not treat it adequately. Periodontitis is a more severe condition and can lead to further complications, such as loss of teeth.
The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth. Dental plaque is a biofilm that accumulates naturally on the teeth. It occurs when bacteria attach to the smooth surface of a tooth.
This plaque can harden into calculus, or tartar, near the gums at the base of the teeth. This has a yellow-white color. Only dental professionals can remove calculus.
Buildup of plaque and tartar can trigger immune responses that lead to gingival or gum tissue destruction. Eventually, it may lead to further complications, including the loss of teeth.
Other causes and risk factors
Several underlying conditions and outside factors Trusted Source can increase plaque formation or a person’s risk of gum inflammation.
- Changes in hormones: This may occur during puberty, menopause, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. The gums might become more sensitive, raising the risk of inflammation.
- Some diseases: Cancer, diabetes, and HIV are linked to a higher risk of gingivitis.
- Drugs: Medications that reduce saliva production can impact a person’s oral health. Dilantin, an epilepsy medication, and angina drugs can also cause abnormal growth of gum tissue, increasing the risk of inflammation.
- Smoking: Regular smokers more commonlyTrusted Source develop gingivitis than non-smokers.
- Age: The risk of gingivitis increases with age.
- Family history: Those whose parent or parents have had gingivitis have a higher risk of developing it too.