Gingivitis: causes, symptoms, and remedies.

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Table of Contents

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums or gingiva (the part of your gum around the base of your teeth). It frequently happens because of plaque, bacteria that accumulate on the teeth surfaces. It is a non-destructive type of gum illness. However, without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. That’s why it’s crucial to take gingivitis seriously and treat it quickly.

It’s so common that as lots of as 90% of grown-ups kids in the UK have it.


Indications of gingivitis consist of:

  • Red and puffy gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Tender gums painful at the touch
  • Swollen gums

If you observe any symptoms and signs of gingivitis, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Gingivitis typically solves with excellent oral hygiene, such as more prolonged and more regular brushing, and flossing. Also, an antibacterial mouthwash might help. In moderate cases of gingivitis, you might not even know to have it, because signs are mild. 

There are two primary categories of gingival illness: 

  • Induced by a dental plaque: This can be brought on by plaque, systemic elements, medications, or poor nutrition. 

  • Non-induced by a dental plaque: can be brought on by a bacterium, virus, or fungi. It may also be triggered by genetic factors, systemic conditions( including allergic reactions and specific diseases), wounds, or reactions to foreign bodies, such as dentures. 

The most typical reason for gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque in between and around the teeth. The plaque triggers an immune response, which can ultimately damage gingival or gum, tissue. If not treated, It might likewise lead to further problems like periodontitis.

Plaque is formed by colonizing germs that stick on the surface area of your teeth. These bacteria may help safeguard the mouth from the colonization of hazardous microbes. However, oral plaque can also trigger dental caries and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and persistent periodontitis.

Also read: How to get rid of cavities: 10 foods you should avoid.


  • Plaque

The most common cause of gingivitis is bad oral hygiene that motivates plaque to form on teeth, triggering inflammation of the surrounding gum tissues. 

Here’s how plaque leads to gingivitis: Plaque is an undetectable, sticky film made up generally of bacteria that forms on your teeth when starches and sugars (but in general all foods) in food engage with germs usually found in your mouth.

This undetectable film has a soft consistency, and it can be removed by the bristles of your toothbrush and your floss. The soft dental plaque, which is not removed from your teeth turn into hardened tartar within 48-72 hours. 

Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove, produces a protective guard for germs, and causes inflammation along the gumline. 

You require expert dental cleaning to get rid of tartar. The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they aggravate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth, triggering swelling, bad bread, and bleeding.

  • Hormones changes: puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy can bring to gingivitis. Called a pregnancy growth( pyogenic granuloma). 

Menopause can cause desquamative gingivitis, an improperly comprehended, unpleasant condition that occurs most commonly in postmenopausal women. In this condition, the gums’ external layers bleed quickly and separated from the underlying tissue( desquamate), exposing nerve endings. The outer layers of the gum tissues can be rubbed away with a cotton swab

  • Smoke: regular smokers develop gingivitis much more often than those who do not smoke.

  • Drugs: Some medications can actively affect your oral health, for example, those medications that reduce the saliva flow. Some other medicines might cause abnormal growth of gingival tissue.

  • Poor diet: vitamin deficiency (B and C, for example) is linked with gingivitis.
  • Genetic
  • Age: The risk of gingivitis increase with age

Gingivitis and related diseases:

Both gingivitis and periodontitis have been shown to raise your risk of 

  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • osteoporosis
  • pneumonia
  • cancer

Early detection is always your best option if you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned above; you need to visit your dentist.

gingivitis stages

Diagnose and treatment

A dental practitioner or oral hygienist will look for symptoms and will evaluate if there are plaque and tartar in the oral cavity. 

  • Diagnose might be done by X-ray to check the bone level.

  • Another test is the gum probing, using an instrument that measures pocket depths around a tooth. In normal oral health conditions, the pocket depth is between 1 and 3mm. If the pockets are 4mm or more, there is gum disease. 

If the diagnosis takes place early, and if treatment is timely and proper, gingivitis can be effectively reversed. 

Treatment involves care by a dental professional, and follow-up treatments carried out by you at your home. 

The Dentist/Dental Hygienist treatment is going to be:

  • Professional cleaning using an ultrasonic instrument and the scaling. Sometimes this can be unpleasant, mainly if tartar accumulation is sub-gingival and old, or the gums are extraordinarily delicate and inflamed. The dentist or dental hygienist will use unique instruments to scrape away these unwanted formations on your teeth. And only in case, there’s too much tartar, and you might need to go through another scaling and polishing session.

  • The dentist will describe the importance of your oral hygiene and how to brush and floss successfully. Follow-up visits might be recommended, with more regular cleanings if necessary.

  • Your dentist will do a general check-up to see if the gingivitis might be caused by old bridge fitting bad, fillings, misaligned teeth, and other possible problems. If one or more of these problems are causing gingivitis, the dentist will need to solve them and not only perform a professional cleaning.

Dealing with gingivitis and following the oral health expert’s instructions can usually prevent complications.

How to prevent gingivitis

If you follow your home oral health, you should see the return of pink, healthy gum tissue within days or weeks.

  • Use a soft toothbrush and change it at least every three to 4 months. Consider using an electric toothbrush, which may be more efficient at removing plaque and tartar.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a mouth rinse to help in reducing plaque between your teeth.
  • Supplement brushing and flossing with an interdental cleaner, such as an oral pick, interdental brush, or oral stick. They are specifically designed to clean between your teeth.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Follow your dental practitioner’s recommended schedule for routine examinations.

The Takeaway

Excellent oral health routines, such as brushing a minimum of twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular dental examinations, can help prevent and reverse gingivitis. Such easy habits can save you from a lot of troubles. 

Using Dental Coach you will perform way better daily routine, decreasing by 80% the risk to incur any kind of gum disease.

Main reference for Oral Health:

American Dental Association (ADA) 

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