Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease. However, as is well known, the disease begins with the onset of gingivitis. This is the initial stages of periodontitis. It is a fact that healthy gums are light pink and are quite firm as well. The ones which are inflicted with gingivitis are swollen or puffy and turn somewhat reddish. Also, they emit bad breath, have a receding gum line and are tender. What is important to note is that if one comes across any symptoms of the ailment, it is best to get to a dentist as quickly as is possible. Timely intervention in curing the ailment is far better than waiting it out. The sooner the treatment begins for the ailment, the better it is.
Which are the primary causes for gingivitis?
The most common cause of gingivitis is not taking your oral hygiene habits seriously enough. Plaque formation on the teeth results in inflammation of the gums. Plaque, incidentally, is a somewhat invisible but sticky film-like deposit which is made of teeth bacteria. The bacteria intermingle with the starch and sugar quotient of the food items in the mouth. Also, plaque needs to be removed each day since it can re-accumulate very quickly.
If plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth and not removed, it can harden and form a thick calculus like substance which is called tartar. One cannot remove tartar at home. This can be done only during a professional clean-ship exercise by a qualified dentist. If tartar is allowed to stay on the teeth, it will irritate the gums around the base region of the teeth and cause swelling over there. With passing time, the gums start swelling up more and more and also begin to bleed when a person uses a toothbrush. Gingivitis then slowly turns into periodontitis which further may result in the loss of the tooth or teeth.
There are several factors which one needs to keep a watch on to be sure of not getting gingivitis. Other than bad oral hygiene habits, one should also not smoke or have much of tobacco intake. As our age increases, the chances of contracting gingivitis too increase. Dry mouth conditions, lack or less of vitamin C in the body system and dental restorations which are improperly fitting inside the mouth et al. may cause gingivitis. Sometimes issues during pregnancy, menstruation et al. also heighten the event of getting this malady.
What should always be kept in mind is that chronic gingivitis may have a connection with certain other ailments as well. For instance, linking up of gingivitis with respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis has also been found. There has been some talk about bacteria connected with periodontitis entering the bloodstream and causing damage to the heart, lungs and even other parts of the human body. Thus it becomes even more important to make sure to treat this disease and that too, on time.
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