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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Gingivitis

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Name

Gum disease, Trench mouth

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums or gingiva. The continued lack of dental hygiene or treatment may cause gingivitis to progress into a more serious gum disease (periodontitis) and eventual tooth loss.

Gingivitis is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene which causes plaque to form. Lack of dental hygiene encourages plaque formation. Plaque is a soft and sticky film which contains millions of bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay. Improper brushing may cause the plaque to harden into a tartar in your gums and tartar can only be removed by professional cleaning. The tartar creates a pocket between the teeth and the gums. As the disease progresses, these pockets deepen destroying the gum tissues and bones which eventually leads to tooth loss.

Symptoms
  • Soft, puffy, swollen gums
  • Receding gums (gums looks like they are pulling away from the teeth)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
Risk Factors

Factors that can increase your risk of gingivitis include:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Substance abuse
  • Diseases that compromises the immune system such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS etc
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco use
  • Certain medications
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
  • Get professional teeth cleaning from your dentist to thoroughly remove all traces of tartar and plaque.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
  • If a severe infection develops, an antibiotic regimen or surgery may be prescribed.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss at least once a day. Have your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist every 6 months.
  • An antibacterial mouth rinse can help reduce bacteria that can cause plaque and gum disease.
Home Remedies
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