When you are taking care of your overall health, do not compromise on your oral hygiene. It is necessary to maintain the good condition of your teeth and gums to ensure proper oral health. You do not want to showcase yellow teeth or inflamed gums when you smile in public. Instead of hiding your beautiful smile, mend the factors that are restricting you from doing the same.
Gingivitis is not a rare problem that you might come across if you are not maintaining good oral health. It is a mild type of periodontal disease (gum disease) that leads to redness, irritation, and swelling of your gums. Gingivitis gets its name from the infection of the gingiva, the area of gum surrounding the basal region of your tooth. You shouldn’t ignore gingivitis, as it may take an ugly turn if you don’t treat it at the right time. If you fail to treat gingivitis, it may lead to severe tooth problems like permanent loss of tooth and periodontitis.
The major reason for which you get gingivitis is poor maintenance of oral health. You should ensure proper oral habits like flossing and brushing your teeth every day at least twice. Never forget to get your teeth checked by dentists on regular intervals to keep an eye on your oral health. By following these healthy habits, you can protect your teeth from gingivitis and also reverse the disease.
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What are the possible symptoms?
If you have healthy gum, you can easily make that out looking at its firm texture and pale pink coloration. During normal conditions, your teeth will be perfectly fitted in position with respect to your gum level. However, when you have gingivitis, you will notice the following characteristics showing up:
- Dark to dusky reddish gums
- Ebbing gum levels
- Tenderness of gums
- When you floss or brush your teeth, your gums start to bleed
- Swelling or inflammation of the gum, giving a puffy appearance
- Bad breath
If you notice any symptoms of gingivitis, do not hesitate to consult a dentist. The sooner you consult, the better you treat the disease. Book an appointment immediately so that you at least have the chance to revert gingivitis and normal gum functioning.
What are the exact causes?
When you have poor hygiene of your teeth and gums, you invite gingivitis quite effortlessly. Majorly poor oral health leads to the formation of plaques that subsequently paves the way towards gingivitis.
- Plaques forming on your tooth- plaque is a sticky film of bacteria accumulated together forming a colony that is invisible to the naked eye. It is mainly formed in and around the regions of your tooth base when you eat a lot of sugary or starchy foods. Bacteria that are normally present in your mouth interact with these small food particles and feeds on them for growth. To get rid of plaques, you need to daily clean your teeth using a floss. Why should you prefer flossing over brushing for removing plaques? Brush bristles cannot always reach minute areas around and in between your teeth, which can be easily cleared using floss.
- Plaque gets converted into tartar- when you fail to remove plaques from your teeth, they turn into calculus or tartar. It forms a hardened film around the gum line that attracts more and more bacteria for growth. Once tartar is formed, you will find it harder to remove plaques as tartar will act as a protective barrier. This barrier will welcome the invasion of bacteria, which will in turn cause irritation and pain in your gums. To remove tartar, you will require the help of dental cleaning.
- Gingiva turns into gingivitis- when plaques and tartar remain in your gums for a long time, it will cause pain, irritation and even bleeding. The gingiva region will become swollen and red, turning into gingivitis. As a result, you may even experience tooth carries or tooth decay if not treated at the right time. Further delay in treatment may cause periodontitis in your gums, ultimately causing tooth loss.
Associated risk factors
Gingivitis happens when you fail to properly take care of your gums and teeth on a daily basis. You need to do proper flossing and brushing every day to avoid gingivitis and other similar gum related diseases. However, there are certain risk factors that related to the root cause of gingivitis or somehow instigates its occurrence:
- Proneness to gingivitis as you age.
- Improper oral care habits.
- Genetic predisposition to the disease. It means that if you have gingivitis running in your family, you may get it by inheritance.
- Chewing or smoking tobacco.
- Any changes in the hormonal balance due to pregnancy, irregular menstrual cycle or sudden use of hormonal supplements. Hormonal imbalance may also happen if you take pills for birth control.
- Poor dieting habits. If you have a lesser supply of nutrients in your diet, especially Vitamin C, it may cause gingivitis.
- Dryness of mouth due to dehydration.
- Medical conditions like fungal or viral infections.
- Dental restorations that do not properly fit in your tooth positions. You may also trigger gingivitis if you have crooked teeth that you cannot clean easily.
- Some drugs likePhenytek and Dilantin (phenytoins) that you take for epileptic seizures can induce gum problems. Sometimes even calcium channel inhibitors that you take for controlling high blood pressure and angina, may even cause gingivitis.
- If you are affected with HIV/AIDS, leukemia or other forms of cancer, it decreases your immunity level leading to gingivitis.
How to prevent gingivitis?
You should maintain your oral hygiene in a very good and systematic way every day to avoid any gum diseases. Ensure that you brush your teeth properly for at least 2 minutes two times a day. You should floss and brush your teeth in the morning, and before going to bed at night. Flossing will help you remove loosely attached food particles in between your teeth more effectively. Remember to visit your dentist every 6 months to keep a check on your oral health. Maintain healthy food habits and overall hygiene.