Gingivitis – This is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? Essentially it’s referring to an infection or inflammation of the gum tissue. If you had gingivitis what are some things you would see? You could see any combination of: Bleeding, overgrowth or puffy looking gums, and redness.
What are some causes of gingivitis? There can be a lot of different causes of gingivitis, some not even related to brushing! Gingivitis is typically caused by plaque and bacteria on your teeth that are not cleaned away. It can also be related to so much more – things like mouth breathing, orthodontic appliances, medications, or eruption of new teeth. Surprisingly enough it also can peak up during high hormone times like puberty and pregnancy.
What happens if it’s not taken care of? As any other infection in your body there is the chance it gets worse and can result in permanent damage of the gums and attachments of your teeth. That is why it’s so important to keep up your oral hygiene – brushing two times per day for two minutes, flossing, and seeing your dentist at least every 6 months. Patient with risk factors or signs of gingivitis might be seeing the pediatric dentist every 3 months for close monitoring.