Gingivitis: Painful Inflammation of the Gums or Gingiva
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis refers to the inflammation of the gums or gingiva. This inflammation occurs due to the accumulation of plaque or tartar. Although gingivitis is a non-destructive type of gum disease it could lead up to something as serious as Periodontitis, which is severe gum disease and could result in loss of a tooth.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis are considered as the major cause of tooth loss amongst adults. General signs of gingivitis include Red and puffy gums, that bleed easily when the person brushes their teeth.
The categories of gingival diseases are bifurcated as-
- Gingivitis due to Dental Plaque: This can be caused by plaque, systemic factors, medications etc
- Gingivitis due to other factors-This can be caused by bacteria, virus, or fungus. It might also be caused by wounds, genetic factors, systemic conditions, or reactions to dentures.
What leads to Gingivitis?
Gingivitis could be induced by a variety of factors leading from Plaque, bacteria to hormonal changes and malnutrition. Below are some of the reasons that cause Gingivitis-
- Hormonal Changes
- Malnutrition or a poor diet
- Certain Medications such as Oral Contraceptives, Chemotherapy etc.
- Family History
- Crooked teeth
- Broken Fillings
- Poorly fitted dental Appliances
- HIV/AIDs due to immunity factor
- Poor Oral Hygiene
These factors lead to Gingivitis and quite often even lead to Gingival diseases as daunting as Periodontitis.
Who can help you with Gingivitis?
These diseases are something that needs to be treated by an expert in this field. Periodontal diseases lead up to fatal diseases like Heart strokes and Diabetes.
Gingival diseases are treated by an expert in this field called a Periodontist.
A Periodontist is an expert that specializes in Periodontology or periodontics. Periodontist treats more than one problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planning (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. They receive extensive training in this area, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the techniques for diagnosing and treating Gingival diseases and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
How to Prevent Gingivitis?
The prevention of gingivitis is possible by maintaining a Proper and consistent oral hygiene. These tips include-
- Visiting the dentist regularly- Visiting your dentist regularly about every 6 months. Dentists are skilled enough and have tools to reach the bacteria and unwanted substances in one’s mouth to promote Oral hygiene.
- Brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste- Brushing your teeth twice daily, especially post-dinner should be a compulsory exercise. Fluoride toothpaste is a must to strengthen teeth.
- Flossing your teeth daily- Flossing must be done every day to remove food particles that could be stuck in between one’s teeth.
- Eating a balanced diet is also important to achieving and maintaining good dental health.
How can one treat Gingivitis?
Treatment options depend on the stage of the disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments and your overall health. The treatment options are broadly slit into Surgical and Non-Surgical treatments. Plaque and tartar can be removed and is known as scaling. This can be uncomfortable, especially if the tartar build-up is extensive. Fixing any damaged teeth also contributes to oral hygiene.
Dental Gingivitis is a condition that leads to very daunting gum disease such as periodontitis. It can be prevented by maintaining and good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly. The treatments are available and under the proper guidance of a dentist the symptoms can be reversed