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What is gingivitis?


Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque: the soft, sticky, colourless film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. If the plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins (poisons) that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. At this early stage of gum disease, damage can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected. However, untreated gingivitis can become periodontitis and cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaw.


How do I know if I have gingivitis?


Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums that may bleed when you brush. Occasionally, gums will be tender. Some people may experience recurring bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth, even if the disease is not advanced.

How can I prevent gingivitis?

Good oral hygiene is essential. Professional cleaning is also extremely important because once plaque has hardened and built up, or become tartar, only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove it.

You can help stop gingivitis before it develops by:


  •  Proper brushing and flossing to remove plaque and debris and control tartar build-up

  •  Eating the right food to ensure proper nutrition for your bones and teeth

  •  Avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco

  •  Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist.


What is gum disease?


Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:


  • Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums

  • Chronic bad breath

  • Loose teeth, or loss of teeth

  • Extreme tooth sensitivity

  • Receding gum line

  • Abscessed teeth


Are there any mouthwashes for gum problems?


Some mouthwashes, especially those containing Chlorhexidine, are particularly effective at treating gum infections and other oral problems, such as those following a dental extraction. These mouthwashes must be used in moderation and not used over a long period of time. This is because they can cause staining, although this can be easily removed by the dental hygienist. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.


Everytime I Brush My Teeth My Gums Bleed, What Can I Do?


Bleeding gums can be caused by a number of things such as


  • Poor oral hygiene

  • Gingivitis

  • Improper placement of restorations or appliances

  • Trauma from brushing and flossing


To ascertain what is causing your bleeding issues a check-up appointment is recommended to provide you with some information and necessary treatment if required.


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