Gingivitis (gum disease) is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most

commonly a result of bad dental hygiene. Gingivitis is more common than some might think and varies broadly in severity. If your gums are red, swollen and bleed when they are brushed or flossed, you most likely have gingivitis. Don’t get this confused with periodontitis, although sometimes both may affect a person.

Gingivitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene that allows bacteria in plaque to remain on the teeth and infect the gums. But there are other aspects that increase the risk of developing the disease. If your dentist told you that you have gingivitis, but you are unsure how it’s caused, let us help you.

Here are some other common causes of gingivitis:

· Smoking or chewing tobacco. This prevents the gum tissue from being able to heal. If you have gingivitis, it’s important to cut out smoking before you damage your gums further.
· Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth. This can create more areas for plaque to accumulate and are more difficult to keep clean.
· Stress! When you’re stressed, the body’s immune response to bacterial invasion is lowered.
· Hormonal changes. Sometimes a change in hormones, whether it’s puberty, menopause, or something else correlates with a rise in gingivitis. The increase in hormones causes the blood vessels in the gums to be subject to bacterial attack.
· Poor diet. A diet high in sugar, carbs and low in water will increase the formation of plaque.
· Medications. Some medications, such as anti-seizure medications, promote gum disease. It’s important to always list all your medications when you visit your dentist.

There are even more causes of gingivitis, which is why it’s always important to talk to your All Smiles dentist about your lifestyle. If your dentist finds signs of gum disease during your visit, discuss reasons why you may have developed gingivitis and what you can do for treatment. Also, remember to contact your All Smiles dentist immediately if you experience any warning signs of gum disease such as red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from teeth, loose or separating teeth or persistent bad breath.

If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis or think you are seeing signs, don’t worry. Your All Smiles dentist is here to help treat and prevent further damage. Contact us for an appointment!

Next month’s blog will cover how to prevent and treat gum disease at the dentist office and at home.