Gingivitis

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What is it?

Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, is a periodontal disease that causes inflammation of your mouth’s gum tissues. Bacterial biolfilms, also known as plaque, gets affected by a lack of oral care and the consumption of products harmful to your teeth and gums. This in turn causes the swelling of the gums, which may not inhibit oral function but may instead cause aesthetic harm. Gingivitis is not necessarily a painful disease, but this not a good thing; rather, this leaves many cases to be untreated, which eventually may lead to periodontitis – a more destructive gum disease.

Causes

WebMD states that gingivitis is caused by the growth of bacteria on the gums. This bacteria, in turn, will consume the sugars from whatever food or drink you ingest.

It will also take in toxins or poisons you might be taking from products like cigarettes. Generally, what is more likely to stain your teeth is also what will cause gingivitis. This includes coffee, tea, certain juices, chewing tobacco and other easily-staining products.

Furthermore, gingivitis can be caused by plaque build-up, which is basically the accumulation of minerals along your tooth enamel. This is more likely to cause gingivitis if it stays as the minerals will stay stuck to your teeth and gums, even if they are vigorously brushed. It also occurs in hard-to-reach areas, so be wary of all areas in your mouth.

There is also the chance of developing gingivitis if you are pregnant or taking certain medications like birth control pills or antidepressants. Similarly, diseases like AIDS and diabetes make it harder to fight infection. Both the medication and the diseases may prevent you from being able to fight its rapid spread properly if your body is chiefly focused on treating something else.

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Symptoms

The symptoms of gingivitis are at times invisible and painless, but that does not mean they should be overlooked. As mentioned before, gingivitis is a stepping stone to periodontitis, which is potentially more harmful. As for the visible symptoms, WebMD  indicates that the gums may experience redness, swelling and even bleeding when gently flossed. Sufferers may also experience early stage symptoms of periodontitis, including bad breath and the recession of the gums.

The use of tobacco will actually lower the chances of bleeding, but it does not mean it is good for you. Over the course of a long time, your teeth and gums will eventually begin decaying and corroding if not treated.

Diagnosis

The best way to diagnose gingivitis is to visit a dentist. They will immediately notice the signs of gingivitis, and they can easily provide a personalized solution if necessary. If the dentists do not provide enough information, periodontists—those who specialize in gum disease—will be able to recognize indications that you are headed towards periodonitis. X-rays may also be used to detect any abrasions or decay in the teeth. It is best however, if you consult a particular dentist regularly, so they can cross-reference your current oral state with a previous one.

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Treatment

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat gingivitis, and these can be done cheaply and effectively in the comfort of your own home. WebMD suggests simply using tartar-control toothpaste that preferably contains fluoride. Consistent flossing after every big meal is also advisable, as tartar buildup will be most easily removed immediately after it has entered your mouth. Using antiseptic or anti-plaque mouthwash is a must too, as it may get things that neither the dental floss nor the toothbrush will get. If neither of these work or are simply inaccessible, a suitable whitening toothpaste or even a toothpick will provide the care you require.

It is also a good idea to reconsider your diet if you want to maintain whiter teeth and avoid plaque buildup.Consult your dentist about what foods to avoid, and ask them if there are any indicative stains on your teeth that may stem for a particular substance.

As for tobacco use, it is recommended that one quit to avoid gum disease. Dentists advise that its consumption will inevitably lead to it, so it is a good idea to visit your dentist more if need be. If none of this seems to be working, try augmenting the amount of times you floss and brush your teeth during the day. Some recommend bringing oral care products to work, or chewing a pack of whitening gum in the middle of the day.