One of the most common reasons people develop gingivitis is due to poor dental habits and infrequent visits to their dentist. Regular visits, at least twice a year, along with brushing the teeth a minimum of twice a day and flossing, could help reduce your chances of getting gingivitis.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue caused by bacteria contained in the plaque and tartar left along the base of the teeth, near the gum line. It is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. If not treated, it can advance into periodontitis, which can lead to potential tooth loss and irreversible gum tissue damage.
What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?
Heathy gum tissue is a light pinkish colour and should feel firm to the touch. With gingivitis, the gum tissue starts to darken in colour and become redder. In addition, the gum tissue can feel soft to the touch or look swollen.
Gingivitis has several symptoms to look for, including:
Some people may not even realize they have gingivitis because they only experience minor gum irritation and swelling, and little to no pain, soreness, or tenderness.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Poor dental hygiene habits are the most common cause of gingivitis. Infrequent brushing and flossing allow plaque to remain on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky-like film which is created when eating foods or drinking beverages that contain sugar and starches. The film is primarily composed of bacteria.
Plaque that remains on the teeth for several days, especially in those hard-to-reach areas, starts to harden and turn into tartar along the gum line near the base of the tooth. Tartar is a harder substance and more difficult to remove. Even with regular brushing and flossing, it will not remove tartar. As a result, the tartar on the teeth actually create a protective barrier for the bacteria, allowing it to infect the gums. The only effective way to remove tartar from the teeth is to have your dentist/hygienist clean your teeth.
What Are Common Risk Factors for Gingivitis?
It is worth mentioning, anyone, at any age is at risk for gingivitis. Certain lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and poor dental hygiene increase the risks for getting gingivitis, as well as:
It is important to schedule a visit with us if you notice any of the signs or experience any of the symptoms of gingivitis. With the proper treatment and improved oral hygiene, it is possible to fully reverse the effects of gingivitis, unlike some of the more advanced stages of periodontal disease.
For more information about gingivitis and to schedule a dental appointment, contact Kennedy Square Dental today by calling (905) 789-7339. We offer late afternoon and evening appointments during the week, and are open on weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM.