Have you ever wondered why your gums are a tender and feel swollen? The probable cause is most likely gingivitis. Gingivitis is a very common and mild form of gum disease. Often, someone with gingivitis is unaware they even have an issue because the symptoms can be mild with minimal pain.
Knowing what to look for and how gingivitis forms will help you prevent further health concerns.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
- Look for redness and swelling of the gums
- Healthy gums should be firm and a pale pink coloration.
- Puffy, red and bleeding gums are a sign that your mouth is at risk.
How Gingivitis Forms
When the teeth are not properly taken care of, bacteria within our mouths react with the sugars and starches from our foods. This causes build up of plaque. If left to grow, plaque can harden under the gum line and become tartar, causing the inflammation we know as gingivitis. Once tartar begins to form, more extensive treatment is necessary as brushing alone won’t remove the buildup. Treatment for gingivitis can be as simple as general cleaning by your dental care provider. However, some extreme cases could require medications and even oral surgery.
Potential Causes for Gingivitis
- Lifestyle choices – smoking, drinking and lack of oral care
- Hormonal factors – aging, pregnancy, a compromised immune system from illness(diabetes, HIV/AIDS)
How to Prevent Gingivitis
Although this may seem like a minor issue due to lack of pain and irritation, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Gingivitis is known to be linked to serious health issues like stroke and heart attacks. Be sure you are doing your part to reduce the chance of health complication due to gingivitis. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss once per day and schedule regular visits to your dentist.