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Gingivitis

What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the name of a mild form of periodontal (gum) disease. The disease causes irritation, redness, and swelling (inflammation) of the gums due to plaque buildup along and under the gum line. Bacteria live and flourish in plaque, which sticks to the teeth and attracts more bacterial growth. Gingivitis is a very common gum disease in the United States. It occurs more often in men than women.
Gingivitis develops due to several factors. Most commonly, people acquire gingivitis from poor oral hygiene resulting in a buildup of plaque along and under the gum line. Once the gums become covered in plaque, inflammation of the gum and the possibility of infection result. This may lead to a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis, which, left untreated, may destroy the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone).
The signs and symptoms of gingivitis can be very mild. The disease course varies among individuals. Some people may not be aware they have the condition, while others may have bleeding, swelling, tenderness, and mouth sores.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
Gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.
Common symptoms of gingivitis
The most common symptoms of gingivitis are related to disturbances in the mouth and include:
•Bad breath
•Bleeding gums
•Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
•Gum tenderness
•Mouth sores
•Receding gums
•Swollen gums
What are the risk factors for gingivitis?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing gingivitis. Not all people with risk factors will get gingivitis. Risk factors for gingivitis include:
•Aging
•Diabetes
•Dry mouth
•Hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy
•Ill-fitting dental restorations and appliances
•Medications that reduce saliva in the mouth
Poor dental hygiene or nutrition
•Substance abuse, especially methamphetamine use
•Tobacco use
•Viral and fungal infections
Reducing your risk of gingivitis
You can lower your risk of gingivitis by:
•Brushing teeth twice a day, or after every meal or snack
•Cleaning between teeth with dental pick or stick
•Flossing daily
•Getting regular dental cleanings
•Using a soft toothbrush
•Using an electric toothbrush

How is gingivitis treated?
Treatment for gingivitis begins with seeking professional dental care from your dentist. To determine whether you have gingivitis, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth. X-rays may also be performed to determine whether the inflammation has spread to the bones, ligaments, and other supporting structures of your teeth.
Good oral hygiene is the mainstay of treatment for gingivitis and is highly effective. It is important to follow your treatment plan for gingivitis precisely.
Treatments for gingivitis
Oral hygiene practices that are effective in the treatment of gingivitis include:
•Antibacterial mouth rinses
•Professional tooth cleaning with brushing and flossing
•Repair of misaligned teeth
•Replacement of poorly fitting dental and orthodontic appliances
What you can do to improve your gingivitis
In addition to reducing the risk for gingivitis you can also prevent or limit asthma gingivitis by:
•Brushing teeth twice a day, or after every meal or snack
•Cleaning between teeth with dental pick or stick
•Flossing daily
•Getting regular dental cleanings
•Using a soft toothbrush
•Using an electric toothbrush

[Update: 2020 - 06 - 01 ]