Did you know that more that 35.7 million Americans suffer from Gingivitis? Wondering what exactly is, gingivitis? It is an inflammation of the gums caused by the bacterial infection. The cause of gingivitis is plaque-the colorless, sticky and soft layer of bacteria that forms constantly on the gums and teeth. Plaque constantly forms on the teeth surface and as it advances, it becomes tartar. The infection exaggerates when the plaque extends below the gum line.
The infection affects the tissues that support the teeth- the gums, tooth socket and the periodontal ligaments.
How do I know I have Gingivitis?
The condition is characterized by bright red or purple, swollen, tender gums that tend to bleed whenever brushed or flossed. Another sign is gums that have receded or pulled away from the teeth. You may also experience consistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
Causes of Gingivitis
Gingivitis and other gum diseases are basically caused by lack of proper dental hygiene. Other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis are:
- Chewing tobacco and smoking prevents injured gum tissues from being able to heal.
- Diabetes mellitus impairs circulation and the ability of the gum to heal.
- Rotated, crooked or overlapped teeth are hard to reach areas and, therefore, difficult to keep clean. They can abhor plaque and calculus.
- Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty or menopause have been linked to gingivitis. During these periods, an increase in hormones causes blood vessels in the gum to become more susceptible to attacks from bacterial.
- Cancer treatment such as chemotherapy makes a patient susceptible to infection, increases the risk of gum infection.
- Stress affects the body’s immune system. Impairing its response to bacterial invasion.
- Poor nutrition from diets low in the water, but high in sugar and carbohydrates is bound to increase the formation of plaque. Vitamin C deficiency can also impair healing.
- Taking medications like anti seizure medications promotes gum diseases.
- Breathing through the mouth can be harsh on the gums as they aren’t protected by the lips resulting in chronic irritation and inflammation.
How is Gingivitis Treated?
It is very crucial to treat gingivitis and practice proper oral hygiene. The three popular treatment options available for treating gingivitis are:
- Cleaning teeth: There are several techniques to deep clean the teeth without the surgery. These techniques aim to remove the plaque and tartar to avoid gum irritation. Some of the techniques that can be used are:
- Scaling: Remove the tartar from below and above the gum line
- Laser: Remove tartar without pain and bleeding
- Root planing: Smoothes the rough spot and remove the infected tooth parts.
- Medication: There are a number of medications that can be used to treat gingivitis effectively. Some of the medications that you can use are antibiotic mouthwash, antibiotic microspheres, time release antiseptic chips and oral antibiotics.
- Surgery: In extreme cases it is important to go for surgery to treat gingivitis. Bone and tissue graft and flap surgery are the two popular surgery options that can be used to remove plaque and treat the swollen gums. To know more about flap surgery, read more HERE.
It is best to choose an experienced dentist if you are suffering from gingivitis to get immediate relief and avoid further dental complications.