What is gingivitis and what are the symptoms?
Gingivitis — an inflammation of the gums — is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque – the soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums.
Risk factors for gingivitis
The following are risk factors for gingivitis:
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- consuming certain medications (oral contraceptives, steroids, anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and chemotherapy)
- crooked teeth
- dental appliances that fit poorly
- broken fillings
- genetic factors
- compromised immunity (such as HIV/AIDS patients)
Gingivitis can be prevented by proper and consistent oral hygiene. Make certain to eat a balanced diet and visit the dentist regularly. Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth every day.