Gum disease gingivitis occurs when plaque, which is loaded with bacteria, accumulates in your gums and in between teeth. Brushing your teeth gets rid of plaque. However, it only takes 24 hours for plaque to form in your teeth again. So, without regular and proper brushing plaque remains on your teeth and eventually forms tartar – a hard deposit that is removable only through cleaning at the dental office.
Plaque and tartar are pools of bacteria that are harmful to the gingiva or the gums. Plaque and tartar buildup is the primary cause of inflammation and irritation of the gums, a condition referred to as gingivitis.
Other factors that may contribute to the development of gum disease gingivitis are:
Poor diet or one that lacks calcium and vitamins C
Drugs that affect saliva chemistry and gum tissue such as anti-cold medicines and anti-seizure drugs
Changes in hormones
Diseases that weaken the body’s immune system
What are the symptoms of gum disease gingivitis?
Gingivitis usually does not cause any major pain or discomfort in the gums or mouth, which is why many people with the disease are seldom aware that they have it. However, you should take notice of the following symptoms:
Soft or tender gums
Gums become dark red
Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth or after brushing
If you have any of these symptoms, see your dentist right away. Do not wait for the problem to get worse before seeking professional help.
Failure to treat gum disease gingivitis worsens the bacterial infection and results in a more serious condition called periodontitis and in time causes tooth loss by destroying the bones that prop up the teeth. Periodontitis also puts a person at a greater risk of heart attacks and in pregnant women, increases the risk of premature birth.
Treatment of gum disease gingivitis starts with complete removal of plaque and tartar through a cleaning procedure referred to as scaling. Usually, professional dental cleaning is enough to cure gingivitis and shortly your gums will restore its health. However, you must follow it up with a strict regular dental hygiene at home to keep the condition from recurring.
Prevent gum disease gingivitis by practicing good oral hygiene, which simply means brushing your teeth twice every day and flossing once daily. Rinse your mouth with water after meals and snacks. It will not even take you more than 5 minutes to clean your teeth completely. In addition, make sure you visit your dentist regularly for checkups and necessary cleanings.