Gingivitis is a mild, reversible form of gum disease that involves inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. It is the first stage of gum disease and, if left untreated, may progress to Periodontitis (the loss of bone around the teeth). Periodontitis is a more serious form of periodontal disease and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that regularly forms on teeth. If this plaque is allowed to build up, it can create by products that can damage the gums.
The best way to prevent Gingivitis is to prevent the build up of plaque by practicing good oral hygiene including brushing twice per day and flossing once per day. Getting regular dental cleanings and exams is another important factor in preventing Gingivitis and more serious gum disease. Your Dentist may also recommend that you rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash.
Signs and symptoms of Gingivitis include mild inflammation of the gums, red or swollen gums that bleed easily, mouth soreness and itching around the gums. Gingivitis has several degrees of severity so symptoms will vary in intensity with each case. The swelling and inflammation of the gums can be mild or very painful, depending on the area that is affected. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to communicate this information to your Dentist so he or she can examine your gums and, if needed, implement an appropriate treatment plan.
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