Gum inflammation, additionally known as gingivitis, is a mild form of periodontal disease. Red or swollen gums, sensitivity to cold or hot drinks, and bad smell can be an alert to the oral problem. Commonly observed in adults over 30, gingivitis may become a source of critical health issues when untreated. The good news is that this gum disease is easy to treat and reversible in most cases.
What Are the Causes of Gum Inflammation?
Diagnosing gingival problems usually requires looking more deeply through the patient’s eating and hygiene habits. Poor oral hygiene is usually the underlying factor. Brushing teeth at least twice a day is recommended to avoid gum inflammation. As food particles may get stuck to the tooth surface and gum line, plaque appears as the initial cause of gingivitis. Consuming large amounts of sugar and carbohydrates also accelerates plaque formation. Malnutrition, usually seen in low-income communities, makes up an earlier base for gum lesions. Insufficient water intake is another issue grouped under dental-plaque oriented causes of gingivitis. As saliva helps break up food, it also reduces the sticking of particles between and around teeth. Long-term use of drugs such as oral contraceptives, anticonvulsant medications, and calcium channel blockers may deteriorate dental resistance against tartar.
Other Factors and Risk Factors Causing Gum Inflammation
Non-plaque orientation is the second group of health risks. These diverse causes of gum inflammation are more related to systemic and genetic factors. Diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and HIV bring about a high risk of gingival problems. Fungus and bacteria’s existence in the mouth or oral system may lead to gum inflammation and lesions on the gingiva. Hormonal changes during maternity and menopause trigger gingivitis in women. Smoking and tobacco chewing is another widely observed factor beneath gum inflammation.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Inflammation?
Gingivitis is not hard to detect. If you have developed a reddish look on the gum, experienced bleeding during or after brushing and flossing, felt some tenderness and even recession of gums, then it is time to visit your dentist. In milder cases, patients do not notice symptoms of gum inflammation unless an irritating chewing habit occurs. The poor breath may be a result of gingival problems, sometimes accompanied by another serious health issue. If you notice two or more symptoms, do not hesitate to arrange an appointment with your dental clinic.
What Happens If Gingivitis Is Not Treated?
Gingivitis is easily diagnosed by a dentist or periodontist. Plaque and tartar formation is checked after taking the oral history from the patient. X-ray or periodontal probing is needed for serious cases. If not treated, receding gums and loose teeth occur. In more severe cases, teeth loss and periodontitis become inevitable effects. Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is another painful form endangering dental health.
Gingivitis, How Is It Treated?
Oral hygiene is a must for the treatment of gingivitis. In some cases deep cleaning procedures can be recommended by the dentist. In more serious cases, medication or oral operation can be necessary. As you care about your oral hygiene, a professional cleaning can be done by the dentist. In this procedure, your dentist will clean the tartar and plaque from the gum line and the root surface. As medications, antibiotics can be prescribed, mouthwash with antiseptic can be suggested. In severe problems, dental operations can be considered.
How to Prevent Gingival Inflammation?
In fact, gingival inflammation is easy to prevent with home-based oral applications. You can follow up these six tips during your daily routines:
- Brush your teeth preferably after every meal or at least twice a day.
- Rinse with a mouthwash daily.
- Use an interdental brush to overcome plaque formation on your teeth and gums.
- Visit your dentist for removal of tartar or scaling twice a year.
- Reduce sweets and chocolate in your diet and drink more water.
- Do not postpone your annual dental check-up in case you possess risk factors of gingivitis