What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation of the gums and if left untreated, can progress to a more advanced stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis. When plaque build up accumulates in and around teeth, it can cause the gums to become inflamed. Because gingivitis is an early sign of periodontitis, it does not cause gum recession during this stage. However, if you have gingivitis, you should think of it as a warning sign to become more proactive when it comes to your oral hygiene regimen and regular dentist visits. Therefore, it is imperative to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for routine exams to ensure that your teeth are in good condition and are well-maintained. At your routine dental exam, your dentist will remove any plaque to ensure that your oral health is in the best shape possible.
Causes of Gingivitis
There are a wide range of factors that can contribute to your risk of developing gingivitis, including:
- Poor oral hygiene: If you do not brush and floss regularly, this can increase your chances of gingivitis. Therefore, it is imperative to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to ensure that your oral health is well-maintained.
- Smoking: Smoking is another contributing factor to gingivitis. In fact, smoking is one of the biggest contributing factors to gum disease. If you have gingivitis or periodontal disease and are receiving treatment for the condition, smoking can lower the chances of successful treatment.
- Hormone changes: Hormonal changes, such as changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause are also contributing factors of gingivitis. This is because during hormonal changes, your gums may be more susceptible to inflammation and sensitivity. However, an adequate oral hygiene regimen can reduce the chances of developing gingivitis.
- Poor nutrition: Having a poor diet that is not rich in nutrients can also contribute to gingivitis. This is because a poor diet lacks the vitamins and minerals that your body needs in order to fight off infections, including gum disease and other issues. Therefore, it is important to eat a healthy diet to keep your immune system in its best shape.
- Chronic diseases: Chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV are medical conditions that can make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections, including gingivitis and other conditions. If you suffer from any chronic diseases, then it is best to consult with your dentist or periodontist to develop a customized oral regimen plan.