Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease involving inflammation of the gums caused by not brushing and flossing the teeth enough. When the sugars and starches in food interact with the bacteria found in the mouth, they form plaque–a soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. When plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate gum tissue, causing Gingivitis.
Typical symptoms of Gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. More advanced gum disease can cause the gums to recede or pull away from the teeth. Additionally, some people might experience bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth caused by plaque and food debris.
If left untreated, Gingivitis can become Periodontitis and cause permanent damage to the teeth and jaw. However, in its initial stages, the damage can be reversed. Gingivitis does not affect the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place, but later stages of gum disease do.
Generally, gingivitis resolves with good oral hygiene–thoroughly brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. For some people, using an antiseptic mouthwash can also help. Then, schedule your Three Rivers Dental appointment to keep those teeth squeaky clean!