Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque - the soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. The symptoms include:
• Bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)
• Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
• Gums that are tender when touched, but otherwise painless
• Mouth sores
• Swollen gums
• Shiny appearance to gums
HOW IS GINGIVITIS DIAGNOSED?
The dentist will examine the mouth and teeth and look for soft, swollen, red-purple gums. The gums are most often painless or mildly tender. The dentist will use a probe to closely examine the gums in order to determine if it is gingivitis or periodontitis. Dental x-rays may be done to see if the disease has spread to the supporting structures of the teeth.
HOW IS GINGIVITIS TREATED?
The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth, reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection, and to stop disease progression. Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how one may have responded to earlier treatments, and the overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues.
DID YOU KNOW?
Smoking and chewing tobacco are leading causes of Gingivitis