Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and it typically develops due to a film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth, which is called plaque-induced gingivitis.

Gingivitis is not a destructive form of periodontal disease, but if the condition isn’t treated, it could lead to periodontal disease. If you develop periodontal disease, you are at an increased risk for tooth loss.

If you have gingivitis, you may have puffy, red gums that will usually bleed when you brush your teeth. In some cases, the condition will resolve with good oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing properly. In addition, an antiseptic rinse can also help treat the condition.

If your gingivitis is mild, you may not be aware you have the condition. However, it is vital to take care of it as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms.

Types of Gingivitis

There are two types of gingivitis, which include:

Dental Plaque-induced Gingivitis

This form of gingivitis is typically caused by the accumulation of plaque, poor nutrition, medications, or systemic factors.

Non-plaque Induced Gingivitis

This form of gingivitis results in gingival lesions and is usually caused by a fungus, virus, or bacteria. Furthermore, the condition may also result from wounds, allergic reactions, or genetic factors.

How is Gingivitis Diagnosed?

Your dentist will perform an examination that will check for symptoms of gingivitis, which may include looking for plaque and tartar in your oral cavity. In addition, your dentist may also check for periodontal disease with an X-ray or probing machine.

Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with gingivitis in its early stages, proper treatment can effectively reverse the condition. Your dentist will administer professional care to treat the condition, but it is also imperative that you follow aftercare procedures at home.

A dentist will remove all plaque and tarter from your teeth by performing a deep cleaning, which is also known as scaling. If you have a significant accumulation of tartar, then it may be slightly painful as the gingivitis causes your gums to be sensitive.

Your dental professional will also discuss an effective aftercare procedure, and he or she may provide you with guidance on how to effectively brush and floss at home.

Complications Associated with Gingivitis

In most circumstances, if gingivitis is treated effectively and you adhere to your dentist’s aftercare instructions, there usually isn’t any further complications. However, when gingivitis is left untreated, the affected gums can spread to surrounding tissue, bones, and teeth, which could result in periodontal disease. In addition, when the condition is left untreated it could also increase the risk of trench mouth, which is ulceration of the gums that is the result of a bacterial infection.

Further complications may include:

  • Abscess in the jaw bone;
  • Infection
  • Recurrent gingivitis

There have been numerous studies that found certain types of oral problems, such as periodontal disease, can increase an individual’s risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis or think you may have the condition, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.