Gingivitis, more commonly known as gum disease, is an oral infection that affects the gums caused by bacterial growth in the mouth. If not properly treated gingivitis can become the more serious periodontitis resulting in tooth loss and the destruction of soft gingival tissue in the mouth. Gum disease has also been linked to various other infections in the body including heart disease. It is believed that bacterial infection in the mouth can infiltrate the bloodstream and cause wider health problems if not treated successfully.
Gingivitis is initially caused by plaque build up. Plaque is a filmy substance made up of bacteria and other debris that covers the tooth enamel and gum tissue and erodes it. This causes irritation of the gums which may bleed when brushed firmly. This kind of irritation is easily treated and combated by more effective cleaning. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can become peridontitis where the infection creates pockets between the teeth and gums which can spread the infection below the gum line. This is very hard to clean with conventional brushes and may need some antibiotic treatment. In sever cases some tissue may need to be removed if beyond treatment in a process called a gingivectomy.
Although gum disease my be caused by more wide ranging health issues such as hormonal changes and illness it is most often caused by poor standards of oral hygiene. An improvement in brushing and flossing and making regular six-month check up appointments with a Basildon dentist is usually enough to keep gum disease at bay.
Even if you think you have healthy gums and are experiencing no irritation or symptoms of gum disease it is still necessary to see a dentist on a regular basis. Some gum disease shows little or no sign of obvious infection but a dentist will be able to spot the warning signs. As previously mentioned, gum disease can be the underlying cause of a more systematic infection that becomes very hard to treat, so it really is worth making a few small efforts to prevent it. Call 01245 268 494 for a free consultation at at Advance Dental Clinic in chelmsford.