GINGIVITIS- WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?
- Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva).
- Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease.
- A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth.
- Generally, gingivitis resolves with good oral hygiene – longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing.
- In mild cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, the condition should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.
THE CATEGORIES OF GINGIVITIS DISEASE
There are two types of Gingivitis disease which are:
- Dental plaque-induced gingival disease– Plaque-induced gingivitis is inflammation of the gingiva resulting from bacteria located at the gingival margin.
- Non-plaque induced gingival lesions – This group of gingival diseases is caused by specific bacterium not usually associated with plaque (biofilm).
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GINGIVITIS
In order to know whether you are suffering from gingivitis, u need to know its signs and symptoms which are :
- Gums are bright red or purple.
- Gums are tender, and sometimes painful to the touch.
- Gums bleed easily when brushing teeth or flossing.
- Halitosis (bad breath).
- Inflammation (swollen gums).
- Receding gums.
- Soft gums.
CAUSES OF GINGIVITIS
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque to form on teeth, causing inflammation of the surrounding gum tissues. What causes plaque is what you need to know. Here’s what leads to plaque formation:
- Plaque forms on your teeth.
- Plaque turns into tartar.
- Changes in hormones
- Some diseases such as cancer,diabetes, and HIV.
- Family history.
Factors that can increase your risk of gingivitis include:
- Poor oral care habits
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Older age
- Dry mouth
- Poor nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
- Dental restorations that don’t fit properly or crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
- Conditions that decrease immunity such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment
- Certain drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) for epileptic seizures, and some calcium channel blockers, used for angina, high blood pressure and other conditions
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy, menstrual cycle or use of birth control pills
- Medical conditions such as certain viral and fungal infections.
TREATMENT OF GINGIVITIS
Prompt treatment usually reverses symptoms of gingivitis and prevents its progression to more serious gum disease and tooth loss. Here’s what you can do to treat it:
- Professional dental cleaning.- Your initial professional cleaning will include removing all traces of plaque, tartar and bacterial products — a procedure known as scaling.
- Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums.
- Dental restoration, if needed.
- The dental professional explains to the patient the importance of oral hygiene, and how to effectively brush his/her teeth, as well as flossing.
- Periodically following-up on the patient, with further cleaning if necessary.
- What the patient can do at home: – Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day.
- Regularly rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.
There can be very serious gum problems as a complication from Gingivitis that includes:
- Abscess in the gingiva
- Abscess in the jaw bones
- Infection in the jaw bone or gingiva
- Periodontitis – this is a more serious condition that can lead to loss of teeth
- Recurrent gingivitis
- Trench mouth – ulceration of the gums caused by bacterial infection.