What is Gingivitis?

What is Gingivitis?

Jul 30, 2019

Trinity Dental Loft is dedicated to your oral health, so we have answered some frequently asked questions about gum disease ( gingivitis) below.

What is gum disease (gingivitis)?

Gingivitis is the early form of periodontal disease, which involves inflammation of gum tissues surrounding teeth.

What is the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gingival tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis has progressed to the point that the bone below the gums is destroyed as a result of continual gingival inflammation.

What causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar, which ultimately is the result of poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis can be exacerbated by hormonal changes, tobacco products, infectious disease, autoimmune disease and more.

What are the symptoms and signs of gingivitis?

Signs of gingivitis include swollen and red gums, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing and mouth odor.

Does gingivitis cause bad breath?

Yes, gingivitis is one of the causes of bad breath. Oral bacteria that are present in people with gingivitis and periodontitis produce foul gases as they break down components of our food.

How do health care professionals diagnose gum disease?

Your dentist will get x-rays, examine sensitive or loose teeth, check your gums for swelling, bleeding, or redness and measure the gingival pocket around each tooth.

What is the treatment for gingivitis?

Treatment involves removing the plaque and tartar from around the teeth and gums. If there is buildup below the gumline, then a deep cleaning or scaling may be necessary. In cases of severe gingivitis and periodontitis, more frequent dental cleanings are necessary.

What types of specialists treat gum disease?

Periodontists are dentists that have special training in treating periodontitis. If periodontal disease has progressed to the point that there is moderate bone loss around the teeth, Dr. James typically refers patients to a periodontist for further evaluation and treatment.

What types of medication are used to treat gum disease?

Gum disease can only be fully treated with proper homecare and dental visits. However, there are a few medications that can help reduce the amount of disease causing bacteria. Antimicrobial powders or gels may be placed below the gumline by the dentist to help fight localized areas of infection. The dentist may can also prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce the bacterial count.

Is it possible to reverse gingivitis?

Yes, gingivitis can be reversed. Once the plaque and tartar are removed with a professional cleaning, the gums will regain their health. However, if the gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis and bone loss occurs, that bone will not regrow.

Is gum disease associated with other health problems?

Yes. Studies have shown links between gingivitis and heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and some forms of cancer.

How is gum disease managed in pregnancy?

Pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy due to the increased level of progesterone. The excess progesterone makes it easier for bacteria that cause gingivitis to grow. The progesterone also makes the gums more sensitive to plaque and exaggerates the body’s response to the toxins that bacteria in the plaque produce.

Is it possible to prevent gum disease?

Gingivitis and periodontitis are 100% preventable with good homecare (brushing and flossing) and regular dental cleanings.

Is gum disease contagious?

Yes and no. The gingivitis itself is not contagious. However, the bacteria that cause gingivitis can easily be spread through the exchange of saliva – kissing, sharing drinks and food, sharing eating utensils, sharing toothbrushes or other dental hygiene instruments.

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