Gingivitis means bleeding gums & lost teeth!
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It often occurs due to a build-up of plaque, or bacteria, that accumulates on the teeth. Untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis which is far more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red and puffy gums, that often bleed when a person brushes their teeth. Gingivitis is preventable with good oral hygiene, i.e. frequent brushing and flossing. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash may help. The problem is that, in the initial stages of gingivitis, patients often don’t even know they have it.
There are two main categories of gingivitis:
1. Plaque-induced: This, as the name suggests, is most commonly caused by plaque, and systemic factors, medications, or malnutrition can also play a part.
2. Non-plaque induced: This can be caused by specific bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It might also be caused by genetic factors, systemic conditions (including allergic reactions and certain illnesses), wounds, or reactions to foreign bodies, such as dentures.
Regular checks with the Hygienist help keep track on the health of your gums and will prevent a case of gingivitis turning into periodontal disease and loss of teeth.