Gingivitis | Everything you Need to Know about It

According to Colgate, Gingivitis may lead to Gum Disease or rather as also known as Periodontal Disease if care ain’t taken. To enumerate, Gum Disease is a set of inflammatory conditions affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth.

In its early stage, periodontal or gum disease is also called gingivitis. As placed by the Crest team, gingivitis happens when plaque, a naturally-occurring sticky film containing bacteria, builds up on teeth. And causes the inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue.

Gingivitis Disease Treatment & Prevention Guide
A healthy mouth free from Gingivitis Disease starts from your general oral care to your teeth.

As a matter of fact, plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums. Of course, this can cause the gums to become inflamed, making them red or puffy, or causing them to bleed. Equally important, this harmful plaque bacteria can even lead to issues beyond gingivitis like weakened tooth enamel.

Even with regular brushing, it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of your gum line.

What is the Meaning of Healthy Gums?

The gums, or gingivae, are composed of pink tissue in the mouth that meets the base of the teeth. There is one gum or gingiva for each set of teeth. The gingival tissue is dense. It has a good supply of blood vessels beneath a moist surface, otherwise known as a mucous membrane.

Notably, the gingival tissue connects with the rest of the mouth lining but is pink instead of shiny red. And the gums are firmly attached to the jawbone and tightly cover each tooth up to the neck. When intact, the gums cover the roots of the teeth and protect them.

Gingivitis Treatment & Prevention Measures
An illustration showcasing the difference between healthy gums and gingivitis infected gums.

gingival recession happens after a person has experienced a loss of tissue in the gum. It exposes the fragile roots of the teeth to bacteria and plaque and can lead to decay. Since the gingival recession has direct causes and predisposing factors, orthodontic treatment is able to prevent a recession.

And even contribute to its treatment, with or without a periodontal approach. Depending on the type and severity of gingival tissue damage. However, there is no evidence on the fact that orthodontic treatment alone might induce a gingival recession.

How do our Gums get Prone to Gingivitis?

Gingivitis might lead the affected teeth (usually mandibular incisors or maxillary canines) to be involved in situations that act as predisposing factors. Allowing direct causes to act and, therefore, trigger recession. Especially when the buccal bone plate is very thin or presents with dehiscence. Learn more about How can orthodontic treatment help?

Important to realize, the beginning signs of gingivitis disease are often seen when we perform dental cleanings. And we have found that many people haven’t been taking the signs seriously. Because gingivitis doesn’t often cause pain, many people don’t know they have it.

In fact, as many as 75% of all Kenyans will experience some degree of gingivitis during their lifetime. That’s why it’s important not only to know what to look for but also to see your dentist and hygienist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

Below is a video tutorial on How to brush your teeth like never before.

As your gums are the site of the infection, they are where you will likely first see the damage created by gingivitis.

Several symptoms you can look for as warning signs are:

  • Tender, red and swollen gums which tend to bleed when you brush and floss.
  • Your gums pulling away from your teeth.
  • Pus developing between teeth and gums.

Below are more related early signs and symptoms of gingivitis.

» Permanent Bad Breath

Gingivitis can cause you to develop terrible-smelling breath that can’t be brushed away with a toothbrush. This one may not seem so bad, since all you could possibly mask it with a breath mint.

But the bad breath is just an indicator of what’s happening under your gums. The unending foul breath is just a symptom of the bacteria eating, growing, reproducing and dying in pockets of your gums.

» Greater Oral Pain Experienced

Even when not brushing your teeth, gingivitis can cause you pain. As it has made your gums tender, even chewing can be a chore when every bite causes a burst of pain.

Additionally, gums swollen by gingivitis can be more easily damaged by food as they have become more sensitive. The pain may end up causing you to restrict yourself to a soft foods diet.

» Gingivitis Affects Your Teeth’s Alignment

As your gums pull away from your teeth, this will cause your teeth to loosen. Gingivitis makes it more likely that you can lose one of your permanent teeth as the gums loosen around the teeth’s socket.

Another effect of your teeth loosening is that you may bite down and notice your teeth are no longer aligned. As your gums peel away from your teeth, your teeth may shift around in their sockets and change your normal bite.

» Infection Can Become Periodontitis

Gingivitis is the first step in gum infection. It can be treated fairly easily and cause a manageable level of damage. But, if it goes untreated, it can develop into a more serious gum infection called peritonitis.

Periodontitis attacks the bone in your jaw (the connective tissue holding your teeth in place) and can provoke an inflammatory response throughout your entire body. Total teeth loss is a result of an advanced case of periodontitis.

» Irritation of Teeth & Gums

Chiefly, in the early stages of gingivitis, your gums may be irritated but the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. The inflammation is reversible and no major damage has been done to the tissues and bone that surrounds the teeth.

In the end, the problem comes when gingivitis isn’t stopped in its tracks. If it continues for long enough then it may progress to become Periodontitis. This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist for a full check-up and clean every 6-12 months (depending on your risk for tooth decay and gum disease).

That way, your dentist can remove all of that nasty plaque and calculus that’s above or below your gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach. And keeping your gums and teeth as healthy as possible is the main mission here!

How does Gingivitis Lead to a Gum Disease?

Notably, gingivitis occurs in 3 out of 4 of Kenyans during their lifetime, but with proper dental care early on, it’s easily reversed.

However, if left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis. In reality, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Other factors might increase your risk of gingivitis.

Gingivitis Plaque and Calculus
The Main Difference Between Plaque and Calculus in Gingivitis through Illustration.

If some of the factors below apply to you, pay extra attention to your teeth and gum line. Furthermore, talk to your dentist and hygienist about what you can do. In that case, to keep your mouth healthy and free from gum disease.

Below are the Pros and Cons Associated with Gingivitis;

1. Smoking or Tobacco Use 

Above all, this is one of the greatest risk factors associated with gum disease. And can lower the chances for successful treatment. Research shows that smokers are seven times more likely to suffer from gum disease than people who don’t smoke.

2. Poor Oral Hygiene

Important to realize, if care is not taken to general hygiene, such as, not brushing or flossing regularly is one of several easily avoided causes of gingivitis.

3. Plaque Removal 

You may be missing the plaque found around the gum line, even if the plaque on your teeth has been removed. Be sure to floss regularly and look for a toothpaste like Crest Gum Detoxify or Crest Gum and Enamel Repair that can reach plaque around the gum line.

4. Stress Tiredness

Remarkably, stress is another one of many causes of gingivitis. Constant stress can weaken your immune system and negatively impact your ability to fight infection, including gum disease.

5. Hormonal changes 

As an illustration, some hormonal changes may bring about gingivitis. Including, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and monthly menstruation. Not to mention, they cause increased sensitivity and inflammation in your gums.

Therefore, take extra care of your teeth and gums during these physiological changes to prevent gum disease.

6. Dietary & Poor Nutrition 

Poor nutrition or dietary plan deprives the body of important nutrients and makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection, including gum disease.

7. Medications 

In general, medication type for many conditions can affect oral health. As soon as you discover some side effects, tell your dentist or hygienist. Particularly, if you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

8. Chronic Diseases 

For one thing, some chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV, impair the body’s ability to fight infection, including gum disease. Most importantly, tell your dentist and hygienist if you have any medical conditions.

What is the Meaning of Plaque and Calculus?

On one hand, Plaque is a colorless, sticky film made up of invisible masses of harmful bacteria. Some of these bacteria cause tooth decay, and then there are different types of germs that cause gum disease. It forms all day, every day from eating and drinking as the germs multiply in your mouth.

So, you’re removing plaque every day when you brush and floss your teeth. On the other hand, Calculus is hardened calcium deposits and dead germs stuck on your teeth. Like barnacles on a boat can be white or stained dark, and you can’t clean it off by yourself.

How Gum Disease Affect Your Overall Health
Teeth infographic. Gum disease stages. Editable vector illustration in modern style. A medical concept in natural colors on a light green background. Keep your teeth healthy!

When plaque builds up around the gums and isn’t cleaned off, it hardens over time. With the help of calcium deposits from our saliva, this plaque turns into calculus. Because calculus is rougher than tooth enamel, even more plaque grabs onto the calculus.

Once there is a new plaque on the calculus, it makes it super difficult for you to brush off. Day by day, more plaque builds up and hardens over time and well – you get the idea!

Are there Risks of Gingivitis to Our Body?

Of course, Yes! At the end of the day, your body can only tolerate so much. After a certain amount of buildup, your gums get annoyed and throws a hissy fit. Your immune system kicks in with an inflammatory response that tries to attack the germs in the plaque.

As a result, this leads to redness, swelling and bleeding gums around the tooth. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. So, you can see, if plaque & calculus is left to fester on our teeth for long enough (ie if you don’t brush your teeth twice a day and visit the dentist regularly), it can cause some serious trouble.

Whether it be cavities or gum problems. For sure, bleeding gum is a signal; your immune system telling you to “Get it together!” This is a sign you need to up your oral hygiene game by brushing twice a day.

In addition, flossing every day and visiting your dentist for a professional scale and polish.

How do you Treat Gingivitis?

If you have Gingivitis or think you might have gingivitis, we understand that you might have some anxiety around what to do about it. But don’t worry; with the help of various dentists, hygienists, and gingivitis experts, it is treatable and preventable.

Treating and preventing gingivitis is all about eliminating as much plaque from your teeth and gums as possible. Not forgetting, the best way to treat it is to catch it early. This means brushing for 2 minutes twice a day, flossing daily and most definitely, visiting your dentist for a professional scale and clean when advised.

This will ensure your gums and teeth are always strong and healthy. And if there are nasties that pop up, at least it can be treated right away. In that case, make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Whereby, your hygienist will remove plaque or tartar (plaque that has hardened) from your teeth with special tools.

Also, it is important to realize, tartar can only be removed by a dental professional. So, using oral care items rated for plaque removal helps reduce the amount of tartar needing removal during your dental visit.

Summing Up,

As can be seen, especially from the above guide, Gingivitis is a pretty serious indication that your oral health is going to deteriorate. Just the name of the gum inflammation makes some people uncomfortable, and it should.

When bacteria manage to sneak into space between gums and teeth, gingivitis disease is the result. Even though, some people think gingivitis is just as a result of some gum tenderness. But, it is so much worse than that.

Some people think they had better stop brushing your teeth and gums when you get bleeding gums. But you’ve got to keep on brushing as this will get rid of the bacteria and plaque that are causing the problem!

Resources;

I hope you enjoyed reading the revised guide above on how to maintain healthy gums, therefore, help us share with other readers online.

If you have additional contributions, suggestions, and recommendations, please Contact Us. Or even, leave them in the comments box below this post. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and other readers online.

Below, see more useful and other related topic links.

  1. Periodontitis Symptoms & Causes
  2. 6 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy
  3. How does Gingivitis Lead to Gum Disease
  4. How to Fix Bleeding Gums – Method Dental
  5. Periodontal Disease: Causes And Prevention
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