Today it's all about gingivitis facts. Over the years, we've discussed gingivitis with all of our patients. From conversations about general oral care to talking about correcting issues or potential issues, we've talked with our patients about this common mouth condition at one point or another. We always get the same reaction, too. Most people think gingivitis is the boogey man of oral health, but it's not as bad as it sounds. Today, we're talking about everything you need to know about gingivitis.
Simply put, gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. The name itself literally translates to that. Gingiva is gums, and itis is inflammation. It's an extremely common condition that we all have, even all of us here at Healthy Smiles. In fact, all humans have some level of gingivitis. In general, all of us have a low level of gingivitis caused by bacteria under the gumline. That bacteria causes inflammation of the gums.
This is totally normal. It's impossible to remove all bacteria from the mouth, so there will always be at least a small amount of gum irritation. We all have it and almost none of us feel it. That's a normal amount of gingivitis. We run into problems when bacteria flourishes in the mouth. The more bacteria in the mouth, the more the gums become inflamed, which leads to gingivitis that is detrimental to overal good oral health.
Although gingivitis is commonly caused by bacteria, there are a number of other causes of gingivitis, as well.
Smokers and users of smokeless tobacco are seven times more likely to suffer from gum disease than those who don't. The chemicals in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco irritate the gums, causing inflammation.
Believe it or not, stress can cause gingivitis. Stress weakens the immune system, inhibiting the body's ability to fight off bacteria such as the bacteria found in the mouth.
Hormonal changes caused during puberty, pregnancy, menopause and menstruation cause increased sensitivity and inflammation of the gums.
Poor nutrition deprives the body of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs to function properly, reducing its effectiveness in all areas, including fighting off bacteria that cause gum inflammation.
Some medications can cause gum inflammation and other oral problems.
Chronic diseases like diabetes, and the like can impair the body's ability to fight infection, resulting in an increased risk of bacterial buildup in the mouth.
Now that you have the gingivitis facts, it's time to talk about how to prevent it. While you can't totally rid yourself of gingivitis, you can do things to keep it as minimal as possible. As a family dental practice and corrective practice, we are committed to making sure our patients know how to care for their mouths in the best way possible. That's why it's important to follow the tips below.
Good oral hygiene is the first line of defense in keeping gingivitis to a minimum. Brushing, flossing and using mouthwash at least twice a day helps keep the bacteria in your mouth to a minimum which helps keep gingivitis at bay.
Regular checkups are another important factor in preventing gingivitis. At Healthy Smiles, we give a complete cleaning twice a year that includes brushing, flossing, fluoride treatment, scaling and polish to help remove all the plaque and bacteria that can't be removed with regular oral care at home.
Stopping the use of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco immediately reduces the irritation caused by their chemical ingredients, allowing the gums to return to normal.
Forewarned is forearmed, and we hope these gingivitis facts will help both alleviate your concerns and help you keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Practice routine oral care, stop using tobacco if you already do, and take advantage of our family dental services to help you and your family keep your mouths as healthy as possible.