Gingivitis is a condition defined by swollen, tender gums. Remember that it is the initial phase of gum disease. If not promptly treated, the bacteria responsible might attack the bones and other adjacent tissues supporting the teeth. In severe cases, the teeth might loosen and requires extraction.
What is the cause?
Gingivitis is often brought about by the bacteria in plaque. The plaque is a tacky material that collects on the teeth. It is comprised of saliva, mucus, acids, food particles and bacteria. If not removed with regular brushing and flossing, plaque can lead to the formation of cavities, build of tartar and gum disease.
Other possible causes include:
- Loose crowns or fillings
- Gum injury from incorrect brushing and flossing of teeth
- Irritation from chewing tobacco or smoking
- Untreated decay in the gum line
- Vitamin deficiency especially vitamin C
- Certain conditions such as diabetes, thyroid and immune system issues that disrupts with the capability of the body to fight infections or causes the body to attack its own tissues
- Drugs that lead to dryness of the mouth or causes the gums to readily inflame and become swollen
What are the indications?
The usual signs of gingivitis include the following:
- Bad breath
- Swollen, tender gums that readily bleed
- Shiny, spongy gum tissue that appear purplish or reddened
- Increased sensitivity to air, cold and acidic foods
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Changes on how the teeth fit together when biting
- Loose teeth or moves apart from one another
- Gums appear to have pulled away from the teeth
Management of gingivitis
The treatment for gingivitis includes professional teeth cleaning. The dentist will get rid of the tartar and plaque from the surfaces of the teeth.
Once they are removed and the tooth and root surfaces are clean, the tissue can recuperate.
Other treatment options include:
- Vitamin supplements
- Antibacterial, alcohol-free mouth wash or rinse
- Changes in the drugs used if the condition was caused or aggravated by the medications being used
- Gum surgery