Gingivitis, or inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth, is a common result of poor dental hygiene. While very common, it varies widely in severity. Characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed, gingivitis is not the same thing as periodontitis, although sometimes a person may be affected by both. Gum disease is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene that allows bacteria in plaque and calculus to remain on the teeth and infect the gums. However, there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth
- Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy and menopause
- Cancer and cancer treatment
- Breathing through your mouth
- A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water
- Anti-seizure medications
As food debris mixes with saliva, bacteria-forming plaque begins to stick on your tooth’s surfaces, eventually developing gingivitis. If plaque and tartar can’t be removed by brushing and flossing, it can become mineralized and form tartar.
Both dental plaque and tartar are filled with harmful bacteria. If they aren’t removed from teeth, they will begin to irritate the gums and cause gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the bone and lead to periodontitis. When the underlying bone gets infected, it will start to recede from the teeth and form deep gum pockets. These pockets collect plaque and bacteria, making it very difficult to keep clean, causing more bone loss to occur.
Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today.
Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.