What Is Gingivitis?

What Is Gingivitis?

Posted by STONEGATE FAMILY DENTISTRY on Jul 15 2020, 03:55 AM

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease characterized by inflammation of the gums (gingiva) surrounding the teeth. It is typically caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gumline. When plaque is not adequately removed through proper oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing, it can irritate the gums and lead to gingivitis.

Gingivitis can also be the result of bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, certain illnesses, or might even be a reaction to dentures. 

In this article, our team at Stonegate Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, discusses the causes and symptoms of gingivitis and the ways you can treat and prevent it.

Gingivitis Causes

  • The primary cause of gingivitis is plaque buildup due to improper oral hygiene. The bacteria in the mouth interact with the sugar and starch from foods to produce a biofilm called plaque that attaches itself to the teeth. 
  • If not cleaned in its early stages, plaque can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Irritation due to the tartar buildup can cause the gums to get inflamed.
  • Some other factors, both internal and external, that can contribute to gingivitis are:
  • Hormonal activity in puberty, during menstrual cycles, menopause, or pregnancy, can render gum sensitivity.
  • Diseases such as cancer, HIV, and diabetes can increase the risk of gum inflammation.
  • Being on certain medications can cause dry mouth, leading to increased bacteria accumulation. 
  • Smoking increases the risk of gingivitis.
  • Gum inflammation is more common as you age.
  • A family history of gum issues can increase your risk for the same.

The Symptoms 

  • A mild case of gingivitis can only be detected by the dentist in Murfreesboro TN on an X-ray or with the help of instruments that look for pockets between the gum and the teeth.
  • However, the following symptoms should put you on your guard:
  • Yellowish discoloration of the teeth
  • Gums that look puffy and are tender or receding
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing teeth
  • Bad breath that prevails for a longer period

While gingivitis itself is reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental care, if left untreated, it can progress to a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis involves irreversible damage to the gums, bone, and other structures that support the teeth and can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Call us to learn more.

Gingivitis Treatment and Prevention

If diagnosed in its early stages, gingivitis can be reversed at home by adopting the correct measures for oral hygiene.

Treatment for gingivitis typically involves improving oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, using antimicrobial mouthwashes, and scheduling routine dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup. In some cases, your dentist in 37129 may recommend additional treatments such as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotic therapy, or lifestyle modifications to address underlying risk factors.

To learn more about gingivitis and how to prevent and treat it, call Stonegate Family Dentistry at (615) 624-6919 or visit us at 206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

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206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Phone: (615) 624-6919

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Email: info@stonegatefamilydentistry.com

Call or Text Us: (615) 624-6919