What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the irritation and inflammation of your gums – the gingiva. Keep reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms and solutions to gingivitis!

Why should you care? If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, leading to tissue destruction, bone resorption around the teeth, and tooth loss.

What causes gingivitis?

The most common cause of gingivitis is very simple: plaque on your teeth, which is allowed to grow and thrive on teeth through poor oral hygiene.

Here’s how:

  1. Bacteria eats food scraps in your mouth and forms a biofilm which becomes plaque.
  2. Plaque – if it isn’t brushed away – hardens and turns into tartar (also known as calculus).
  3. Tartar is much harder than plaque, and cannot be removed with teeth brushing. Tartar near the gumline begins to irritate your gums.
  4. Gingiva become inflamed – you now have gingivitis!

Now, this is the most common type of gingivitis as well as the most common type of gum disease, but there can be other causes as well.

What are the symptoms?

Gum diseases like gingivitis can often be painless, so it’s important to pay attention to these symptoms and to visit the dentist for regularly scheduled check-ups.

Possible signs and symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Swollen and red gums
  • Gums that are sore to the touch
  • Gums that bleed easily, for example after brushing and flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loose teeth

We recommend that our patients see us twice a year because prevention is the best cure, and it’s easier and cheaper to prevent a problem than it is to fix it.

How can you prevent or fix gingivitis?

On one hand, we’re happy to say that prevention is very easy. A solid dental health care routine should be enough to keep gum disease at bay for most people. That means brushing properly and flossing daily.

Some research indicates that electric toothbrushes could be better at removing plaque than your old manual toothbrush, but you can probably leave the mouthwash.

On the other hand, there is no way you can “fix” gingivitis at home once you have it. The plaque that has hardened to calculus is simply too hard for you to be able to brush away with a toothbrush.

You’ll need to see a dentist for a teeth cleaning, and for them to have a look at the state of your gums to see how they can help you best.

You can book an appointment with Cairns’ leading dentists right now. Either book your appointment online in less than a minute or give us a call on 07 4054 2203, and we’ll sort you out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.