Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums that is caused by a buildup of bacteria between the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is a common periodontal condition that can be effectively managed, however if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and possible tooth loss.

Causes of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is often caused by a buildup of plaque, a film composed of bacteria that coats the teeth after eating. Plaque that is not removed by brushing the teeth can eventually irritate the gums. Gingivitis may also be caused by:

  • Certain drugs or medication
  • Infection
  • Hormonal changes
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Poor nutrition

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Symptoms of gingivitis may include:

  • Swollen and sore gums
  • Red or inflamed gums
  • Gums that bleed easily

Treatment of Gingivitis

Treatment for gingivitis includes a thorough cleaning by a dentist to remove plaque, and proper follow-up care. Patients are encouraged to maintain proper oral hygiene at home to keep gums healthy and reduce bacteria build-up.

Prevention of Gingivitis

Plaque is the most common cause of gingivitis that can be prevented with proper dental hygiene. Other recommendations to prevent gingivitis include:

  • Don't smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Floss and brush teeth daily

It is important to see a dentist promptly if experiencing the signs of gingivitis, to prevent more serious gum disease from occurring.

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