What Causes Gingivitis?

Have you ever heard of gingivitis? Also known as inflammation, this gum health issue can eventually lead to serious health risks, such as periodontal disease. But what causes gingivitis? Understanding the cause of poor gum health, as well as the preventive steps needed to hold it at bay, can help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.

Poor Oral Health and Other Factors

When we don’t take care of our smile and eat foods high in sugar and other starches, the teeth can become coated in plaque. This bacterial biofilm can inflame the gums. Inflammation, also known as gingivitis, can eventually lead to a greater risk of gum disease. Aside from poor oral hygiene, other factors include smoking, genetics, chronic illness, and certain medications.

Warning Signs and Health Risks

Patients with inflammation may notice their gums feel sore, appear more red than usual, or even bleed easily. These warning signs should not be ignored. In the gingivitis stage, the inflammation can be reversed. However, if the issue is allowed to progress into periodontal disease, there is no cure. The disease will instead need to be managed to avoid the risk of tooth loss and other uncomfortable and serious complications.

Preventing Gingivitis

How do you prevent inflammation? First, we recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes per session, in the morning and again at night. You also need to floss thoroughly every night before going to bed. Finally, you should see the dentist every six months for routine checkups and dental cleanings. A cleaning helps remove plaque completely from your teeth, while a checkup allows the dentist to monitor your gums for potential warning signs of developing gum health issues. If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning, then contact our office today.