What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums that surrounds the teeth. This is considered as one of the periodontal diseases that affects the gums, soft tissues and bones. This condition involves bacterial growth in the mouth which may lead to a complication of tooth loss. Gingivitis is usually identified as a periodontitis, gum disease. Take note; gingivitis usually develops before periodontitis. In cases that gingivitis is note treated accordingly, the development of periodontitis is possible.
Those with gingivitis may present symptoms that are identifiable. On the other hand, others do not experience such. These are the following symptoms and warning signs of gingivitis:
- Bleeding gums after brushing of teeth
- Red and swollen gums, pain striking
- Halitosis or bad breath
- Development of loose teeth
- Changes in the teeth’s fit in the gums
These presenting symptoms can be used for the diagnosing the problem. The doctor would usually observe for signs and symptoms to conclude for the final diagnosis. Once a person identifies these signs; such as gum bleeding, swelling and formation of pockets, the doctor can conclude for the condition. Laboratory tests for the diagnosis of the condition include blood work (identify presence of infection), x-rays, and tissue samples. A complete medical history is also to be collected in order to rule out other cause, if there is any.
The cause of this condition is considerably identified as a bacterial infection of the gums. Other causes are the following:
The accumulation of plaque in the areas between our teeth can be rooted for starting an inflammation. The plaque may contain large numbers of bacteria that is possibly the cause of gingivitis.
From an underlying condition and of taking particular drugs. Medications such as for those indicated for seizure attacks, hypertension and organ transplant (immunosuppresants) can cause bacterial susceptibility.
According to studies, a great percent of Americans has developed a form of gum disease. More than 75% of them are known to be affected. Unfortunately, 60% of those affected has viable knowledge about the disease. Inflammation and ulcer formation is a common malady to them and instances they develop periodontal disease. Those who are at high risk for this condition are the following:
Those who lack oral hygiene
The lack of oral hygiene can facilitate bacterial growth and plaque formation
Those who eat too much sugar and acidic food
The causative agents of this condition can thrive in areas where there is too much acid. Sugary foods can increase the acidity in the mouth, thus increasing the number of bacteria thriving in the mouth.
Those who have dental problems
Poorly fixed tooth restorations like tooth fillings can be the form that collects the bacteria and other materials responsible for infection. This can precipitate now the formation of plaques.
Abnormal tooth structures can increase the risk of gum disease.
Growth of wisdom teeth
The growth of the third molar can cause for the gum to get inflamed. It has been noted that those at their 20s are commonly affected of gingivitis because of their growing wisdom teeth.
As one ages, a person is at risk of this condition. This can be related to the elderly who are prone to losing their teeth because of gum problems. Those who are over 70 years are at most risk for developing gingivitis.
Even with the notion that women are very hygienic, the risk for acquiring gum problems is still there. This can be blamed to the hormones that women secrete. They have become susceptible to the condition as this can also be a side effect of birth control pills. When a woman is in her premenstrual period, she has increased progesterone levels that can cause gum inflammation. Progesterone can dilate the blood vessels thus causing an inflammatory process to work. During pregnancy, hormonal changes are to be readily expected. It has been noted that gingivitis can affect the expecting mother in her eighth month. Taking of oral contraceptives can provide a side effect of periodontal disease. Women in their menopausal age are prone to developing gingivitis. As a woman age, the risk for developing gingivostomatitis is great.
These play a significant role in the development of gingivitis. One is susceptible to develop this condition when a person has a family background of the disease.
Nicotine plays a role in the progression of a gum problem. Nicotine can cause oxygen reduction in our gum tissues thus resulting to gum problems. Smoking can also make a person prone to develop bacterial infection of the mouth. The person is at most risk if he or she is a chain smoker. Those who also practice smoking pot are at high risk of periodontal disease.
Other diseases that predispose development of periodontal disease
Some diseases are associated with the development of gum problems. This includes diabetes that has said to impair the health of our gums. Osteoporosis has also been associated with periodontal problems. HIV clients are also prone to this condition. This is due to their impaired immune system. Autoimmune disorders are also identified as a risk factor of gingivitis.
Vitamin C deficient people
They become prone for this condition for the health of the oral membranes are not attained. Vitamin C is essential in keeping our body defenses working and healthy.
This condition is preventable, not unless one has an uncontrollable underlying condition. But gingivitis can be controlled if only a person is responsible enough to take care of his or her gums.
First thing to do is to make sure one controls plaque formation. This can be attained by practicing good oral hygiene by brushing one’s teeth regularly. Flossing is also suggested to remove dirt in between teeth. The use of oral rinses, antibacterial or not, is very good in preventing an oral disease.
A person should refrain from practicing bad habits:
- Smoking cessation is essential. Smokers are known susceptible in developing oral diseases.
- Avoid and reduce stress. Live a stress-free life. Stress can make one’s immune system weak.
- Have a well-balanced diet. Taking enough vitamins and nutrients can assist oneself from fighting off bacterial and viral infections. A strong immune system can be attained when a person is taking enough vitamin E and C in the diet. Tissue repair and cell buildup can be attained with the proper supplementation of vitamins E and C.
- Visit the dentist every three months or at least twice a year. This can help in reducing the chances of oral problems. The dentist can check you regularly by this frequency and can suggest healthy tips for teeth and gums.
Is Gingivitis Contagious?
Gingivitis has been quite debated in the medical science if it can be considered as contagious. It has been presented that people are at high risk of acquiring the condition if there is any chance of contacting saliva between a person affected and a person unaffected. It takes a long time of exposure to consider such occurrence. Specifically, a certain bacteria called P. gingivalis places risk to others who are unaffected. Take note, to avoid such incidence, having sufficient knowledge of the condition can assist one to avoid acquiring gingivitis.
Photos, Images and Pictures of Gingivitis…