Five Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis
Gingivitis refers to the inflammation of the gums, also called gingiva. It is the result of bacteria that grow
on the teeth which cause plaque. Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease that if left untreated, can evolve into another oral illness known as periodontitis, a more serious condition that may lead to loss of teeth. There are many risk factors in the development of gingivitis, such as smoking, poor diet, family history, and hormonal changes. These factors may lead to the growth of bacterial plaque, resulting in the damage of gum tissue.
Dentists will look for any signs of the development of gingivitis, including plaque and tartar buildup, but some can be seen in our own mirror. Here are a few of those signs and symptoms.
1. Inflammation – This is the most common symptom because it is the most physical sign of gingivitis. To see the swelling along the mouth is obvious and painful. While inflammation can happen in any part of the body, when it occurs within the mouth, the gums display a red, swollen appearance that is the hallmark of gingivitis.
2. Gums Bleeding Abnormally – When someone with gingivitis brushes or flosses their teeth, they may find bleeding in and around their teeth. That is not supposed to happen with a healthy set of gums, and is a warning sign that the person may have gingivitis or periodontitis.
3. Gums Are Tender – When a muscle is tender, it is painful to the touch, and the same goes with the gums. When the gingival tissues are inflamed, it makes the area around it painful even to the slightest touch.
4. Gums Are Discolored – When the gums display either a brighter red or purple shade, it is another physical sign that the gums are inflamed. It may present hand-in-hand with tenderness and bleeding to the touch.
5. Bad Breath – Halitosis, or bad breath, is fairly common, especially after eating or drinking certain items, but bad breath, as in very bad, is another common symptom of gingivitis, especially after brushing and the odor is still there. If it does not go away, you should see your dentist for examination. Personal habits such as smoking, as well as failing to brush and floss regularly, frequently contribute to persistence of bad breath, as well as the plaque that causes gingivitis.
In addition, there are other complications that stem from gingivitis. The gums may harbour periodontal abscesses, and the bones of the jaws could also be infected. There is also the condition known as periodontitis, which is an advanced oral disease that can result in the loss of the supporting bone surrounding the teeth. If gingivitis is caught early and treated by following all necessary steps to keep oral hygiene in check, things will get better.
Gingivitis is treatable and very preventable. It is not a pleasant condition as it is painful to have, but keeping an eye for any oral issues can quickly stop it from infecting the rest of the oral cavity. It comes down to simply keeping your mouth clean every single day, and remembering to visit your dentist regularly.