Gingivitis is a non-destructive mild form of gum disease that occurs around the teeth which causes irritation, redness, and swelling. The most common form of gingivitis as well as periodontal disease are plaque or bacterial film which are attached to tooth surface.
With good oral hygiene Gingivitis can be reversible but if not treated it may progress to periodontitis, in which the inflammation of the gums results in tissue destruction and bone resorption around the teeth. Periodontitis can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Signs and symptoms
- Swollen gums
- Bright red or purple gums
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene which results in formation of bacterial film or plaque on teeth.
- Plaque which settled on teeth can get harden under gumline into tartar, which collects bacteria. Tartar act as protective shield to bacteria which makes plaque more difficult to remove, and causes irritation along the gumline.
Risk factors associated with Gingivitis
- Poor oral care habits
- chewing tobacco
- Older age
- Dry mouth
- Poor nutrition
- Vitamin C deficiency
- Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
- Drugs, such as phenytoin for epileptic seizures
- Hormonal changes
- Review of dental and medical history
- Examination of teeth, gums, mouth and tongue
- Measuring the pocket depth
- Dental X-rays
Treatment and prevention
- Gingivitis can be prevented through regular oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing.
- Hydrogen peroxide, saline, alcohol or chlorhexidine mouth washes may also helpful.
- Some Therapies are aimed at the reduction of oral bacteria.
- Powered toothbrushes work better than manual toothbrushes in reducing the disease.
- Interdental brushes also help remove any causative agents.
- The bacteria that causes gingivitis can be controlled by using an oral irrigator daily with a mouthwash containing an antibiotic. Either amoxicillin, cephalexin, or minocycline in 16 ounces of a non-alcoholic fluoride mouthwash is an effective mixture.