Gingivitis or gingivitis is inflammation of the gums which is characterized by reddening of the gums around the base of the teeth. Gingivitis occurs when food residue on the teeth and gums hardens into plaque.

Gingivitis must be treated immediately to prevent tooth and gum damage. If left unchecked, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, which is a serious infection that can damage the teeth and surrounding bones. This condition can cause teeth to fall out easily.

Causes of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is caused by the formation of plaque due to food debris that sticks to the surface of the teeth and mixes with bacteria in the mouth. If not cleaned, plaque will harden and form tartar .

Tartar has a thicker outer layer so that the bacteria inside will be protected and it will be easier for it to multiply. If left unchecked, the germs will erode the gums and cause gingivitis.

Gingivitis risk factors

Anyone can experience gingivitis. Even so, there are a number of conditions that make a person more at risk of developing gingivitis, namely:

  • Oral health is not maintained due to laziness to brush teeth
  • Elderly
  • Family history of gingivitis
  • Wearing dentures that don't fit
  • The habit of smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy , or the effects of using birth control pills
  • Lack of nutrients, including vitamin C
  • Dry mouth
  • Viral infection or fungal infection
  • Certain diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, leukemia, and diabetes
  • Taking hypertension drugs such as calcium antagonists or anti-seizure drugs
  • therapy to treat cancer

Symptoms of Gingivitis

The symptoms of gingivitis are often not recognized by the sufferer. Gingivitis can even occur without any symptoms at all. Some of the symptoms experienced by sufferers of gingivitis include:

  • Gums bleed easily when brushing your teeth or flossing between your teeth
  • Swollen and sore gums
  • Gum color red black
  • Bad breath, such as a metallic smell
  • Pain when chewing food
  • The gums recede so that the root of the tooth is exposed
  • There is pus between the teeth and gums
  • Dentures don't fit anymore
  • Loose or loose teeth

When to go to the dentist

Check the condition of the teeth and gums to the dentist every 6 months. However, there is no need to wait 6 months if you experience complaints of gingivitis as mentioned above. Early screening can prevent complications, such as  periodontitis .

Diagnosis of Gingivitis

The dentist will detect gingivitis by checking for signs of inflammation in the oral cavity. When gingivitis occurs, the pockets that are between the teeth and gums also become deeper.

If necessary, the doctor will take a dental X-ray to see if there is a broken tooth in the gum pocket.

Gingivitis Treatment

Treatment of gingivitis or inflammation of the gums aims to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Some treatment methods to treat gingivitis are:

  • Cleaning tartar ( scaling ) and root canal treatment ( root planing ) using a laser or sound waves.
  • Filling or replacing damaged teeth, if the condition is related to gingivitis.

To help the recovery process and prevent gingivitis from happening again, do the following simple steps:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after waking up and before going to bed. It would be better if you also brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and change it every 3 or 4 months.
  • Clean between your teeth with dental floss at least once a day, and use an antiseptic mouthwash or mouthwash to reduce plaque between your teeth.
  • Reduce foods and drinks that are high in sugar.
  • Clean your teeth at the dentist, at least twice a year. However, if you have tooth and gum disease and are at risk for gingivitis, have your teeth cleaned at the dentist more often.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco.

Complications of Gingivitis

If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, which is a gum infection that spreads to the soft tissues and bones supporting the teeth. To treat gingivitis that has caused complications, antibiotics are usually needed .

Apart from causing loose and loose teeth, periodontitis can trigger heart and lung disorders. This can occur when the bacteria that cause periodontitis enter the bloodstream through the gum tissue.

In children, gingivitis can often recur and last a long time (chronic). As a result, children will often experience swollen gums or bleeding gums.

In addition, chronic gingivitis is also thought to increase the risk of respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis.

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