Gingivitis – Causes and Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a medical problem that leads to bleeding and inflamed gums. It is a common and a milder form of periodontal (gums) disease. Periodontal diseases affect the health of periodontium i.e the tissues that surround teeth and include bone, soft tissues and gums. Gingivitis causes little pain in the earlier stages and may not be noticed. As the condition progresses, it leads to severe gum disease resulting in tooth loss.

Gums swell and bleed when you brush in case of gingivitis. The common cause that leads to gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene, adequate nutrition, mouthwashes help to prevent gingivitis.

Causes of Gingivitis
The main cause of gingivitis is plaque formation on teeth. Plaque is a sticky, invisible film made of bacteria, food debris and mucus that develops in the exposed areas of teeth. Proper brushing of the teeth removes the plaque but this forms again usually within a day. If the plaque is not removed, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar that irritates trapped at the base of the teeth. It then leads to inflammation and bleeding of the gums.

The following factors raise the risk of developing gingivitis:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal changes that are related to pregnancy
  • Dry mouth
  • Certain fungal and viral infections
  • Certain medications
  • Decreased immunity
  • Older age
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco addiction
  • Poor oral health habits
  • General illness
  • Misaligned teeth irritate the gums thus increasing the risk of gingivitis

Many people may develop gingivitis but to a varying degree. Depending on the health of gums and teeth, it may develop during puberty or early childhood and may occur frequently throughout the life.

Symptoms of Gingivitis
The symptoms that arise with gingivitis include:

  • Healthy pink to dusky red appearance to gums
  • Bad breath
  • Gums bleed on brushing or flossing
  • Tender gums
  • Soft gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Mouth sores

Gingivitis rarely leads to severe complications. It can be noticed only if gums appear pinkish and starts bleeding just with a little pressure. Consult a doctor as soon as you notice this symptoms. If you delay in seeking medical care, serious problems may rise.

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