What are gingivitis causes and treatment?
Gingivitis is a type of gum disease also known as periodontal disease where the gum tissues surrounding the teeth are inflamed which can lead to weakened teeth if not addressed in a timely manner.
There are different types of gingivitis:
The most common symptoms of gingivitis or signs of gingivitis are puffiness, redness, and bleeding of the gums usually associated with oral hygiene issues. Gingivitis can be painful for some individuals, but some people might have only mild symptoms, which can go undetected if they do not regularly see a dental professional.
What cures gingivitis is having regular dental appointments to remove the plaque buildup surrounding the gums. Dental hygienists are trained to do proper gum cleaning to relieve symptoms of gingivitis and maintain gum health. If a patient has deep pockets, hygienists perform deep cleaning/ root planning to ensure that tartar and plaque are removed. Brushing with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste, rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwash, and over-the-counter medications such as Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen also help to reduce gingivitis symptoms.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue surrounding the teeth. With proper oral hygiene and regular hygiene visits, gingivitis is reversible or prevented. If left untreated it can lead to an irreversible stage of gum disease – periodontitis and result in tooth loss.
What causes gingivitis? The common cause of gingivitis is a buildup of plaque which is a sticky film that adheres to the teeth and gum area. This sticky film creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and this bacterium creates toxins that irritate the gums. The irritated gums then become inflamed resulting in red and puffy gums which may also bleed.
What is the treatment for gingivitis? Proper oral hygiene: plaque removal, proper brushing techniques, using toothpaste and appropriate toothbrush (manual or electric toothbrush), mouthwash, and flossing. It is always best practice to visit your dental hygienist regularly, every 6 months, to prevent symptoms of gum disease and maintain your gums healthy.
Some individuals may have higher risk factors of developing gingivitis if they:
What causes gingivitis in humans?
Bacterial plaque causes gingivitis. Poor oral hygiene results in an accumulation of plaque on the teeth which then harden into tartar, also called calculus. This tartar fosters bacterial growth and causes gingivitis as well as weakening tooth enamel leading to tooth decay.
Dirty appliances such as nightguards, retainers, and dentures can also contribute to gingivitis because bacteria are repeatedly reintroduced back into the mouth. These appliances often sit in the mouth for long periods of time allowing the bacteria to infiltrate the mouth. Cleaning your oral appliances with appropriate solutions can help prevent the reintroduction of bacteria into your mouth.
Nutrition also plays a role in causing gingivitis. Decreasing the consumption of sugary foods can aid in managing bacteria in your mouth.
Tobacco and/or alcohol use are other factors that are linked to some forms of gum diseases. Cessation of bad habits can aid in the prevention/management of gingivitis.
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis include but are not limited to:
Gingivitis is diagnosed by your dental professional. You should book an appointment with your regular dentist to be diagnosed.
The dentist will probe your gums to determine whether you have gingivitis or whether it has progressed into periodontitis. X-rays are required to help diagnose whether it is periodontitis or gingivitis.
Management of gingivitis involves:
The dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup decreasing the progression of gingivitis and keeping the gums and mouth healthy.When it comes to the treatment of gingivitis, the goal is to remove all remaining plaque and tartar which was not possible to remove with regular brushing and flossing. The dentist will prescribe you a special anti-bacterial mouthwash to bring the gum inflammation down and allow it to heal.
The best way to prevent gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene habits:
Untreated gingivitis can result in advanced gum disease known as periodontal disease. In this stage, individuals will start having receding gums, the development of pus around the gums, chronic bad breath, and loose teeth. Successful treatment of gingivitis addressed in a timely manner can help prevent the development of an advanced stage of periodontal disease.
Gum diseases might be associated with some health conditions. When gum disease is present, the bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart causing direct infection of the heart valves.
Bacteria that cause periodontal disease can be inhaled into the lungs on tiny droplets of saliva. Healthy lungs have protection against this invasion, but diseased lungs are not able to defend themselves, increasing the risk of infection or worsening the existing lung disease.
Spirochete-induced gum disease is one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. The presents of spirochete bacteria in the brain of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are significantly higher than those without the disease.