Home Dentistry Articles Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums
(gingiva) around the teeth due to improper cleaning of teeth.
The condition is almost always reversible. Brushing teeth with
toothpaste and flossing with dental floss are the best ways
to prevent gingivitis.
Gingivitis is usually caused by the improper
cleaning of teeth. When the teeth are not cleaned properly,
the plaque deposits that result irritate the gums. Bacteria
and toxins may cause the gums to become swollen, and infected.
Gingivitis can also be caused by excessively vigorous brushing
or flossing. Other causes include uncontrolled diabetes and
pregnancy, due to hormonal changes that increase the sensitivity
of the gums. Hormonal changes during puberty also may put one
at risk for gingivitis. The risk of gingivitis is increased
by irritated gums caused by misaligned teeth, the rough edges
of fillings, and ill fitting or unclean dentures, bridges, and
crowns. The drug phenytoin and birth control pills, and ingestion
of heavy metals such as lead and bismuth also may cause gingivitis.
The symptoms of gingivitis are as follows:
Bright-red, or purple gums
Gums that are painless, except when touched
Gums that bleed easily, even with gentle
Gingivitis can be prevented through regular
oral hygiene, including the brushing and flossing of the teeth.
It is recommended that a dentist be seen after
the signs of gingivitis appear. A dentist will check for the
symptoms of gingivitis, and may also examine the content of
plaque at the base of the teeth. A dentist may also test for
periodontitis, by the use of X-rays, or by gingival probing.
A dentist will perform a thorough cleaning
of the teeth and gums. Following that, persistent oral hygiene
is necessary. The removal of plaque may be painful, but the
inflammation of the gums should be gone between one and two
weeks. Oral hygiene is required to prevent the recurrence of
gingivitis. Anti-bacterial rinses or mouthwash may reduce the
Recurrence of gingivitis
Infection or abscess of the gingiva or
the jaw bones
Trench mouth (Bacterial infection and
ulceration of the gums)