What is Gingivitis?


Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease in which your gums are affected.  It is marked by gums that become red, swollen and can easily bleed.  Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease and is reversible with a professional dental cleaning followed by improved brushing and flossing.  Many people with gingivitis won’t experience any discomfort, particularly in its early stage.  Plaque build up is the main contributing factor in gingivitis.  As bacteria in the plaque builds up it can cause your gums to become inflamed, which makes them red and swollen.  The early warning signs are bleeding gums when you are brushing.   This does not mean you should stop brushing.  In fact, the best way to reverse gingivitis is to brush (2-3x/day) and floss (1x/day) and rinse with Mouthwash daily and to come for your regular check up and scaling appointments at your dentist.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis.  As bacterial infection spreads deeper into gum tissues, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth below the gumline.  This creates a deeper crevice between the tooth and gums known as a pocket.  This pocket harbours more plaque and bacteria creating a stubborn infection.  As periodontitis progresses, the body’s natural response to infection and the toxins in the bacteria start to destroy the connective tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place.  If untreated, this condition will result in teeth becoming loose, and the potential for tooth loss is great.

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss; however, with early detection, and preventive measures taken it is treatable.   Check our next blog to find out how.   Heather & Gema