Gingivitis – An Overview
Gingivitis is an inflammation of gingiva or the gums, which is usually caused by poor dental hygiene. Other factors like viral and bacterial infections, hormonal changes and diseases such as cancer and diabetes may be responsible. Signs of the initial stages are swollen gums that are painful to touch. Often, gingivitis is not a serious malady and resolves by itself.
In some cases, the patients are often unaware of any symptoms. However, neglecting gingivitis for the long term can lead to severe infections such as periodontitis. Some of the common measures to support dental health are to brush twice a day, floss every day, avoid eating sugary substances, avoid tobacco and smoking. Periodical dental check-ups are also essential to maintain oral health.
Types Of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is differentiated into two kinds on the basis of the inductive factors. Gingivitis may or may not be induced by plaque. Inductive factors which are due to poor oral health are generally the accumulation of plaque and tartar between the teeth of the patient. Other inductive elements are independent of the accumulation of plaque.
Some of these factors are the infection of the gums by virus, bacteria, and fungus. These infections can occur if dental health is neglected. Apart from poor oral health, gingivitis can also be caused by diabetes, genetic factors, and imperfect dentures.
Causes Of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is caused by unhealthy dental practices which lead to the accumulation of plaque around the teeth. Plaque is the natural accumulation around the teeth. If the accumulation of plaque is not resolved in time, it leads to trigger response by the immune system of the body which leads to the destruction of the gums.
This condition is called gingivitis. The further aggression of the disease leads to serious dental problems and tooth loss in some cases. Apart from the factors mentioned above, causation of gingivitis is also linked to changes in hormones of the body, certain diseases such as cancer and HIV, smoking and drug intake.
Symptoms Of Gingivitis
Some of the symptoms of gingivitis are as mentioned below:
- Unusually bright red or purple gums,
- Painful gums,
- Bleeding gums,
- Swollen gums,
- Bad breath, and
- Receding gums.
It is advised to book an appointment with a doctor as early as possible if the symptoms mentioned above are experienced.
The preventive measures of the disease are as follows:
- Good Dental Health—
Good dental health reduces the risk of gingivitis. Brushing twice daily and flossing eliminates food particles stuck between the teeth and prevents the formation of plaque. Elimination of plaque and tartar reduces the risk of gingivitis.
- Regular Dental Check-Ups—
Regular dental check-ups, preferably at every six months, are essential to maintaining oral hygiene. Your dentist will inspect the formation of the plaque or other tooth ailments.
- Healthy Nutrition—
Intake of healthy food promotes oral health. Calcium-rich foods and dairy products are credited to support dental hygiene.
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Diagnosis Of Gingivitis
The following methods diagnose gingivitis:
- Dentists will likely review your medical history to identify risk factors.
- An examination of tooth, gums, and tongue will follow to check for swollen areas.
- Then, the pocket depth of your tooth will be measured.
- Dental X-rays will be conducted to identify bone loss.
Treatment Of Gingivitis
The treatment of gingivitis is aimed at preventing further deterioration of the gums so as not to develop severe dental ailments and tooth loss and to promote dental health.
Through the procedure of scaling and root planning, the dentist will clear all the plaque and tartar from your teeth. This discourages plaque development and inflammation of the gums. Treatment sometimes involves straightening of the teeth which are misaligned to reduce irritation of the gums.
Follow up appointments with the dentist are recommended to keep track of the build-up of plaque and tartar and to assess the healing of the gums.
Gingivitis is an easily curable disease. According to Dr. Carlos Gonzalez, a dentist in Hialeah, City in Florida, with regular dental check-ups and proper care, the condition can be easily cured and prevented from worsening to severe dental ailments.