Gingivitis is described as the inflammation of the gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If it is treated in time, you can regain good dental hygiene, but if it is untreated, it can cause periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more advanced infection that can lead to the loss of teeth.
If you want to know that you have gingivitis, take a look at yourself in the mirror, and if you have red puffy gums that bleed after a soft brushing of your teeth, then you are a victim of gingivitis. To avoid it, you need to have good oral hygiene that involves long brushing sessions that are frequent, followed by flossing. Additionally, mouthwash will give your mouth a good clean from bacteria.
The symptoms of gingivitis are mild, and in some cases, patients are not aware that they have it. However, you should take any signs seriously to avoid further damage to your teeth and gums.
Types of Gingivitis
There are two categories of gingivitis:
Non-plaque induced gingival lesions: a specific fungus or virus can cause this condition. It can also be caused by genetic factors, allergic reactions, and certain illnesses, reactions to dentures, wound and sometimes, and in some instances the cause is unknown.
Dental plaque induced gingival disease: Medications, systemic factors, malnutrition, and plaque can cause this type of gingival disease.
What Causes Gingivitis?
The accumulation of bacteria between your teeth or around the teeth is the major cause of gingivitis. An immune response is triggered by the plaque that leads to the destruction of the gums. Eventually, it will lead to other dental complications like loss of teeth.
A dental plaque can be described as a biofilm that accumulates on the teeth naturally. This takes place on the smooth surface of a tooth where bacteria accumulates. Although the bacteria can help protect the mouth from harmful micro-organisms, it can also lead to tooth decay and other periodontal diseases like chronic periodontitis and gingivitis.
If you stay without treating the plaque, it will harden and form tartar near the gums, at the base of the teeth. You will often see a yellow color at the base of the teeth which cannot be removed by brushing the teeth; only a professional can remove the tartar formed.
Once tartar is formed, it irritates the gums, and it leads to gum inflammation which means that the gums will bleed easily around the base of the teeth.
Other Known Causes of Gingivitis
Regular smoking can develop gingivitis, while those who don’t smoke have a smaller chance of developing gingivitis.
Age can also increase the chances of getting gingivitis.
A diet plan that is deficient in vitamin C can be linked to gum disease.
During menopause or puberty, your gums may become sensitive, and they can easily be inflamed.
Some diseases like diabetes, cancer, and AIDS are linked to the risk of having gingivitis.
Some medications like Dilantin (anticonvulsant) and some anti-angina drugs that affect the flow of saliva can affect the gums.
If your parents have a history of gingivitis, you have the risk of developing it too. This is dependent on the bacteria we are exposed to in our early life.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Most victims of gingivitis don’t even know that they have it. It is possible for one to have gingivitis without any symptoms.
All in all, below is a list of symptoms to look out for:
- Sensitive teeth.
- Foul breath that does not go away even after brushing your teeth.
- Partial dentures that do not fit anymore.
- Pain experienced when chewing.
- Pus is coming out of between the gums and the teeth.
- A change in the bite if how your teeth are aligned.
- Loose teeth.
- Gums that are distant from the teeth.
- Bleeding gums when flossing or brushing your teeth.
- Red gums that are tender and swollen.
How Gingivitis is Diagnosed
When a dental exam is being done, a small ruler will be used to prob your gums. This is the way to check for inflammations on the gums. The small ruler will also measure the pockets found around your teeth where the normal depth is 1 to 3 millimeters. An x-ray can also be done to check your jaw structure.
If you have any symptoms that you have noticed, talk about it with your dentist to help in the diagnosis. If gingivitis is the prevailing disease, you will be referred to a periodontist who is a specialist in gum diseases.
Treatment of Gingivitis
Good oral hygiene is the best remedy for gingivitis. Additionally, a good lifestyle change that excludes smoking can also help aid in the treatment process. Other treatments include antibiotic medications, deep cleaning the teeth and surgery.
Since tartar and plaque will need to be removed, a process called scaling will ensure that you have clean teeth. Even though you will have clean teeth, scaling will be an uncomfortable experience if the accumulation of tartar and plaque are extensive.
After cleaning is done, frequent checkups will be planned to monitor the progress of your dental health. Some dental issues like badly fitted crowns or crooked teeth can make it hard to clean tartar or plaque.
Home Care Recommendations
- Use an electric brush if you can.
- Brush your teeth two times a day.
- Floss your teeth twice a day.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse your mouth.
You can easily prevent complications when you follow the instructions of dental health professional. However, gum disease can spread when treatment is not administered. Some of the difficulties that may come about include:
- Recurrent gingivitis.
- Ulcers of the gums after a bacteria infection colonizes the mouth.
- Infection in the jaw bone.
- Periodontitis which leads to loss of teeth.
There are studies that have shown how gum diseases like periodontitis are linked to heart diseases or stroke.
For more information on periodontics & dental implants and gingivitis treatment in King of Prussia, PA, our center has a qualified team of staff to help you with all your dental issues. The medical team comprises of Dr. Marissa Crandall Cruz, Dr. Mana Nejadi, and Dr. Rimple Sandhu. To book an appointment with the dentists, kindly dial (610)783 7800, or log on to King of Prussia website to request a consultation. Alternatively, you can walk in to the offices located at 10112 Valley Forge Circle King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.
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