Gingivitis is defined as a mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, inflammation, and redness around the gums (gingiva). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 47% of adults aged 30 or older suffer from some form of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis causes a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontal disease. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the two biggest threats to oral health.
Understanding the causes, warning signs, and risk factors of gingivitis (gum disease) is key to treating and preventing periodontal disease. Read on to learn more about gingivitis and how to establish better dental health.
There are two main types of gingivitis:
Plaque-induced Gingivitis: When saliva, food, beverages, and bacteria combine, it creates dental plaque. When the plaque accumulates around and between the base of the teeth, it irritates the gums. This irritation causes an immune response, which can damage the gum tissue, cause an active gum infection, or even lead to tooth loss.
Non-Plaque Induced Gingivitis: Viruses, genetic factors, allergic reactions, or dentures may all be non-plaque related causes of gingivitis.
When the gums are healthy, the gum line should appear firm, pale pink, and fitted closely around the teeth. Some signs and symptoms of early gum disease include:
The plaque build-up from saliva, food, beverages, and bacteria is a typical and expected cause of gingivitis. However, the American Dental Association suggests that other factors put patients at risk of developing gum disease:
Untreated gingivitis leads to periodontal disease. Eventually, complications can arise, such as:
Treating gingivitis requires a proper cleaning from a trained dental professional. A dental hygienist will remove plaque that is built up on the teeth and gums. If treated early enough, gum disease can be reversed.
Healthy gums start with good oral hygiene. Patients can prevent gingivitis easily by:
At Winter Dental, we provide excellent dental care to treat gingivitis and prevent periodontal diseases. Whether you require preventative, restorative, or cosmetic services, our caring team is here to facilitate optimal oral health and hygiene. Schedule your dental visit by calling (303) 424-4567 or by visiting our website.