Gingivitis

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Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums, or gingiva. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the teeth.

Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease, but untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis.

Gingivitis often resolves with good oral hygiene, such as longer and more frequent brushing, and flossing. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash may help.

Types

There are two main categories of gingival diseases:

Dental plaque-induced gingival disease: This can be caused by plaque, systemic factors, medications, or malnutrition.

Non-plaque induced gingival lesions: This can be caused by a specific bacterium, virus, or fungus. It might also be caused by genetic factors, systemic conditions (including allergic reactions and certain illnesses), wounds, or reactions to foreign bodies, such as dentures. Sometimes, there is no specific cause.

Signs and symptoms

In mild cases of gingivitis, there may be no discomfort or noticeable symptoms.

  • bright red or purple gums
  • tender gums that may be painful to the touch
  • bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing
  • halitosis, or bad breath
  • inflammation, or swollen gums
  • receding gums
  • soft gums

Treatment

If diagnosis happens early, and if treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed.

Professional dental care

Plaque and tartar are removed. This is known as scaling.

Care at home

People are advised to:

  • brush teeth at least twice a day.
  • floss teeth at least once a day
  • regularly rinse mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.





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