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Gingivitis

Gingivitis – All You Need To Know

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis refers to gum inflammation, usually caused by a build-up of bacteria or plaque on teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis may escalate to more severe issues such as losing teeth. There are two variations of gingivitis, plaque-induced gingivitis and non-plaque induced gingivitis.

Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease, and when treated quickly, can often be resolved before substantial damage is caused.

Causes

The accumulation of plaque is the most common cause of gingivitis. Bacteria between the teeth causes this plaque build-up, and this leads to the deterioration of gum tissue. If plaque is not removed correctly, it will harden and become tartar. This is a yellow coating that can only be removed by a dental specialist, such as Pear Tree Dental.

Plaque-induced gingivitis can be caused by other factors, including malnutrition, some medications or allergic reactions. Non-plaque induced gingivitis can be caused by braces or dentures, genetic factors, or oral wounds.

Other things that could contribute to gingivitis include:

  • Poor diet
  • Diabetes
  • Drug use
  • Genetic history
  • Hormonal changes
  • Smoking

Symptoms

The symptoms of gingivitis may differ between patients but often include:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
  • Sore or tender gums
  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Discoloured gums
  • Smelly breath
  • Receding of gums

Treatment

If the cause of gingivitis is a build-up of tartar and plaque, your dentist is likely to carry out scaling. This is a procedure that removes the plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. This procedure may cause some discomfort, but it is often an effective way of treating the symptoms caused by gingivitis.

Before a treatment plan is established, your dentist will need to assess your condition to determine the cause and extent of the damage.

Prevention

The most important thing for oral health is correctly cleaning your teeth and gums. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time. Regular flossing is important to ensure food and debris is not accumulating in the crevices and gaps in your mouth.

Regular dental check-ups are an essential part of oral hygiene, with hygienist appointments booked at least annually. Acidic food and drinks, alcohol, and smoking all contribute to inadequate oral hygiene. Try to maintain a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and smoking.

If you notice signs of gingivitis, contact your dentist to discuss your symptoms.

For further information on the specialist dental treatments Pear Tree Dental offer, contact our friendly team on 01525 372732.