Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque- the soft, sticky, colourless film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. If the plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis.
At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be reversed, since the bone and the connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected. Left untreated, however, gingivitis can become periodontitis and cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaw.
How do I know if I have Gingivitis?
Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed when you brush. Another sign of gum disease is gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth, giving your teeth an elongated appearance. Gum disease can cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, where plaque and food debris collect.
How can I prevent Gingivitis?
Good oral hygiene is essential.
You can help stop gingivitis before it develops by:
- Proper brushing and flossing to remove plaque
- Eating right to ensure proper nutrition for your jawbone and teeth
- Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist
Having a glass of milk or eating cheese with or after a meal that is high in acidity, like spaghetti Bolognese, helps lower the acidity level in your saliva. Thus leaving your teeth less likely to be affected by acid wear.