No one wants to hear bad news from the dentist, but gingivitis is one of those words a patient absolutely dreads hearing come out of their dentist’s mouth. We’ve all heard the word gingivitis, but how do we get it?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene, characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. Gingivitis is not the same thing as periodontitis, although sometimes a person may be affected by both. But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate
- Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause cause the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack
- Cancer and cancer treatment
- Mouth breathing can be harsh on the gums when they aren’t protected by the lips, causing chronic irritation and inflammation.
- Poor nutrition, such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake, will increase the formation of plaque. Also, a deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair healing.
- Medications, such as anti-seizure medications
While gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the teeth, periodontal disease occurs when the bone below the gums gets inflamed or infected. Gingivitis forms when food particles mix with saliva and bacteria-plaque forms that then sticks to the surfaces of teeth. This is why it is so important to maintain proper dental hygiene. A clean, healthy mouth will keep gingivitis at bay.
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.
Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.