Gingivitis is a chronic inflammation of the gum tissue (gingiva). Typically associated with poor oral hygiene, gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease (also called periodontal disease and periodontitis).
Gingivitis if diagnosed early, can be treated and possibly even reversed. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a more serious oral health issue that is not reversible (without surgery ) and can include bone and tooth loss. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. In recent studies it has also been linked to heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Many people are not even aware that they have gingivitis, because it is usually not painful. The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen and puffy gums that bleed easily. Dr Han can evaluate the condition of your gums at your routine checkups.
Additional gingivitis symptoms are mouth sores, itchy gums, bad breath, bad taste and gum recession (this occurs when the gums pull away (recede) from the tooth). If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, it can usually be treated easily with a thorough in-office dental cleaning and followed up with proper oral care at home.
Causes of Gingivitis
While poor oral hygiene is usually the cause of gingivitis, there are a number of other factors that can contribute as well:
- Certain medications
- Substance abuse
- Poor nutrition
- Certain diseases and conditions
- Hormonal fluctuations
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