What is Gingivitis and How Can You Prevent It?

What is Gingivitis and How Can You Prevent It?

Woman having a dental check up

In physiology, the gums are known as gingivae (singular: gingiva), hence the term gingivitis to refer to the inflammation of the gums.

Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease that is non-destructive, but untreated gingivitis may become worse and become periodontitis. This is a more serious condition that is responsible for many cases of tooth loss.

What causes gingivitis?

The 1999 World Workshop in Clinical Periodontics clearly defined the two major categories of gingival disease. The most common causes of gingivitis are plaque-induced gingivitis, gingivitis due to systemic factors, medication-induced gingivitis, and gingivitis brought about by malnutrition.

Lesions may from even without plaque. These are typically caused by a specific type of bacterium, a virus or fungal infection. Gingivitis may also occur due to a person’s genes, systemic conditions or trauma, as well as the introduction of a foreign body. Some types of gingivitis do not have any known causes.

How to spot gingivitis

Gingivitis is not always easily detectable, particularly during its early stages. It is advisable to see a dentist in Hertfordshire to determine whether you have gingivitis. That said, there are some signs and symptoms commonly associated with the occurrence of gingivitis:

  • Purple, bright red or swollen gums may indicate gingivitis.
  • Inflamed gums are typically tender and often painful if touched.
  • When you floss or brush, your gums are not supposed to bleed easily; if they do, that may indicate gingivitis.
  • If your gums are receding or feel soft to the touch, you probably have gingivitis.

How to prevent gingivitis

Only a dentist may help you get rid of gingivitis, but there are ways to prevent it. Get into the habit of brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss once a day to remove the plaque and food particles stuck in between your teeth, which your toothbrush may not reach. Even with this healthy habit, however, plaque may still form. To remove it, visit a dental practice twice a year or as often as your dentist recommends.

As plaque is the most common cause of gingivitis for billions of people. Taking good care of your mouth will help you avoid this problem and the worse conditions associated with it.