Gingivitis, or more commonly called gum-tissue inflammation, is a periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases are usually affecting regions of the mouth, like gums, teeth or bone, and Gingivitis is one of the most common of such diseases. It is also the least dangerous can be treated quite easily.
Symptoms of Gingivitis can include bleeding of the gums, after brushing, or when eating. This can be easily observed when someone eats a slice of white bread or an apple, and residual blood remains on the food. Other symptoms are swollen, and very red gums which are painful to the touch, but these appear only in advanced stages of the disease.
Common causes for Gingivitis are most often poor oral health and heavy smoking, or a combination of the two. The destructive chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause heavy damage to both gums and teeth, and lack of oral hygiene leads to a massive build up of bacteria on the teeth, which is known as plaque. Because bacteria secrete certain chemicals, it triggers a response in the human body, leading to inflammation.
Usually, the disease is very easily diagnosed by a dental care professional, and most oral hygiene specialists can determine if someone suffers from Gingivitis and the causes thereof. In special cases, a dentist might take saliva samples from the gums, or even use X-rays, to determine if a patient is sick.
As common as the disease might be, there are different classifications for it, depending on the diagnosed cause. Gingivitis can appear as a side effect of different medications, for example, but also, because of malnutrition, a viral infection of the gums, because of fungus but also, because of lesions or reactions to a foreign body in the oral regions, like a teeth regulator.
Prevention of the disease is usually very uncomplicated. The daily flossing and/or brushing of teeth is definitely a must. Mouth washes are also highly recommended, especially those containing hydrogen peroxide, which recent studies found to be extremely beneficial to people suffering from Gingivitis. Regular visits to a dentist and and professional cleaning of plaque from the teeth, is also very useful.
If the disease already set it, it is usually treated with mouth wash and toothpaste containing the substance triclosan, in lighter cases. Research showed, that using a powered toothbrush is more effective. If Gingivitis is very advanced, a dentist might also prescribe antibiotics, like amoxicillin, for treatment.
If Gingivitis occurs, it should be treated as soon as possible, because, even though the disease itself is not really dangerous, if left untreated, it can lead to Periodontitis, which is a much more dangerous form of periodontal disease, that can cause tissue destruction and ultimately, tooth loss.