There are loads of dental words that sends shivers down our spine. Dentures, root canals – so many words sound awful when presented to us during a dental checkup. It proves we aren’t holding up our share of the bargain and dropping the ball on our daily hygiene practices. And gingivitis is one of those words…
Gingivitis is a condition that falls in the gum disease family – an inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene and characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. However, there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco prevents the gum tissue from being able to heal.
- Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate and are harder to keep clean.
- Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can causes the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack.
- Cancer and cancer treatment can make a person more susceptible to infection and increase the risk of gum disease.
- Stress impairs the body’s immune response to bacterial invasion.
- Mouth breathing can be harsh on the gums when they aren’t protected by the lips, causing chronic irritation and inflammation.
- Poor nutrition will increase the formation of plaque, and a deficiency of important nutrients will impair healing.
- Diabetes mellitus impairs circulation and the gums’ ability to heal.
- Some medications promote gum disease.
If left untreated, gingivitis will often extend from the gums to the bone, leading to periodontitis. When the underlying bone gets infected, it will start to recede away from the teeth and form deep gum pockets, and more bone loss occurs.
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website.
Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.