What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a common gum disease characterized by
swelling and redness of the gingiva. Gingiva is the gum tissue surrounding the
base of the teeth.

Gingivitis is caused by the body’s response to bacterial
overgrowth in the mouth. Bacteria naturally exist in the mouth. Some are good
and some are bad. The bad bacteria can spread with poor oral hygiene.

Other factors can trigger gingivitis but for
bacteria-related cases, the problem is the plaque that sticks to the tooth.
Plaque contains bacteria and food debris. When not removed, it irritates the
gums and as a response, the body starts to fight the bacteria.

When you notice bleeding, tenderness, and redness in
your gums, that’s a sign your body is attempting to beat down harmful bacteria.
Don’t panic when you see blood when you brush. Gingivitis is reversible. And
this shouldn’t keep you from brushing and flossing.

Some stop brushing and flossing thinking this could only
cause the gums to bleed more. But when gingivitis starts, the more you need to
start paying closer (and not less) attention to your dental care habits.

Risk
Factors for Gingivitis

Aside from gingivitis, other possible reasons for
bleeding gums include hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstrual or
post-menopausal cycles. At these times, the mouth can become extra sensitive.

Those diagnosed with diabetes and other diseases are
also more susceptible to gingivitis. Taking certain medications can also
increase your risk of developing gum disease.

How to
Treat and Prevent Gingivitis

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is key.

  • Brush three times a day for at least two minutes at each time.
  • Floss daily as well to clean between teeth and below the gumline.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Drink water more often, especially after meals.
  • See your dentist every six months.

Some are more prone to developing tartar. Talk to your
dentist about this so you can be advised about the right frequency for your
dental hygiene appointments. You may need to visit the dental office more often
to get rid of plaque not removed by daily brushing and flossing and keep them
from maturing.

Posted on by Dr. Ashnaei in Blog

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