Gingivitis

(Gum Disease)

Definition

Gingivitis is a mild, often reversible form of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a serious condition called periodontitis.
Gingivitis
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

A substance that forms on teeth called plaque causes gingivitis. Plaque is a sticky material, composed of bacteria, mucus, food, and other substances. It hardens to form tartar or calculus. When plaque is left on the teeth for an extended period of time, it can lead to gingivitis. Toxins produced by bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gum tissue and cause infection, inflammation, and pain.

Risk Factors

Gingivitis is more common in older adults, especially men. Factors that increase your risk of gingivitis include:
  • Poor brushing and flossing habits
  • Stress
  • Clenching teeth together or grinding teeth
  • Poor nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • HIV infection
  • Improper bite
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Family members with gum disease
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Some medications taken for high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression
  • Some medications used to control seizures
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Down syndrome

Symptoms

Gingivitis is often painless, with symptoms developing when it becomes worse.Symptoms may include:
  • Swollen, puffy gums
  • Tender gums
  • Redness in the gums or around the teeth
  • Bleeding gums during brushing or eating
  • Gum tissue that recedes or changes shape
  • Persistent bad breath

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Parent-Adolescent Communication May Result In Safer Sex
December 2015

Improving parent-adolescent sexual communication has been noted as one factor that could help to encourage adolescents to practice safer sex behavior. This study found that sexual communication with parents plays a small protective role in safer sex behavior among adolescents.

dot separator
previous editions

Celiac Disease May Increase the Risk of Bone Fractures
November 2015

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook