Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gum caused by the bacteria on the teeth and gum and is characterized by the presence of clinical signs of inflammation that are confined to the gum and have not yet caused any gingival attachment loss or bone loss . Gingivitis can be cuased by hormonal changes or systemic diseases such as diabetes or could be a side effect of some medications (e.g., anticonvulsant drugs such as phenytoin, immu- nosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine , and calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine , verapamil, diltia- zem, and sodium valproate, and contraceptive pills). Gingivitis can also be caused by malnutrition or malignancies such as leukemia. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of the supporting soft and hard tissues around the teeth caused by specific microorganisms, resulting in progressive destruction of the gum and bone. Periodontitis is characterized by an increased probing depth, gum recession, or both. The distinguishing feature of periodontitis is the presence of clinically detectable gingival attachment loss and radiographically detected bone loss.
Signs of gum disease
- Redness and swelling of the gum;
- Gums that bleeds easily when you brush or floss;
- gums that appear to have pulled away from the teeth;
- Persistent bad breath;
- pus;dteeth that seem to be loose or moving away from one another;
- teeth movement resulting in a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
How to prevent gum disease?
- brush your teeth twice a day;
- floss your teeth once a day;
- visit your dentist regularly for a recall exam and professional cleaning;
- Ask your dentist to teach you the correct way to brush and floss.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.