What Is Gingivitis and How to Avoid it?

Gingivitis is inflammation of gums, which is milder than the gum disease known as periodontitis. It generally involves swelling and redness of gums due to infection caused by bacteria. It makes gums sensitive and can cause bleeding while brushing.

It is a common problem and can be treated effectively with the help of your dentist in Hope Island. It is vital to understand that the ailment can affect anyone and must be treated at the earliest to avoid the risk of periodontal disease.

Thus, you must have all the information related to gingivitis and the ways of keeping it at bay. So, here is a detailed explanation of the infection and its prevention.

What is Gingivitis?

It is not uncommon to have gingivitis if you are above 30, and it can be detected if your gums are swollen, red and tender. These are the early signs of gingivitis. A more serious form of the ailment involves gum bleeding and receding of gums.

According to research, it is more common in men, and those who smoke since the use of tobacco diminishes our body’s defence mechanism. If not treated on time, gingivitis can transform into a more serious condition called periodontitis that can lead to tooth loss.

What Leads to Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is commonly caused by bacteria present in the mouth that cause plaque. The main reason for the development of plaque is unhealthy oral habits. Plaque is a sticky film that rests on your teeth and is made up of bacteria when they are mixed with starchy and sugary foods.

Thus, it is essential to brush your teeth twice daily to remove the plaque and avoid gum disease. Due to improper or irregular brushing, the plaque present on the teeth turns harder as it is not removed and gets accumulated under the gum line.

The hardened plaque is known as tartar or calculus and is the spot where bacteria reside in the mouth. Since tartar is hard, it is challenging to remove with brushing and provides a protective cover to bacteria.

It can cause irritation in the gums and will require a visit to the dentist to get it removed. Inflammation of the gums occurs when plaque or tartar stay on the teeth and gum line for a long time.

It makes the part of the gums surrounding the tooth swollen, tender and red. If it is not treated on time, it can cause tooth decay, periodontitis, or tooth loss.

Other Factors Responsible for Gingivitis

Besides an improper brushing routine and smoking, there are several other factors that can cause gingivitis.

These include ageing, genetics, deficiency of vitamin C or imbalanced diet, immunity lowering diseases like HIV/AIDS or cancer, hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy or menstruation, partial dentures that do not fit or uneven teeth that are challenging to clean properly.

Although gingivitis is not an alarming ailment, it can become complicated if the tissue and bone underlying the tooth are impacted by the presence of bacteria.

In a serious state, gingivitis is suspected of causing other problems in the body as the bacteria present in the mouth enter the bloodstream from the gum tissue.

It can reach the heart and lungs and may cause respiratory issues, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, etc. However, there is no concrete evidence related to this. It is considered a possibility.

Another serious consequence of the disease is necrotising ulcerative gingivitis, which causes ulcers in addition to pain, swelling, infection and bleeding of the gums. It is usually caused by improper nutrition.

How to Prevent Gingivitis?

The best way to avoid the problem is to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing twice and flossing once daily. You can also use mouthwash that helps in rinsing off bacteria from the mouth.

Reduce your intake of sticky and starchy foods that help in the production of plaque in the mouth. If you consume such foods, it is ideal to brush after the meal to avoid the presence of bacteria in the mouth for a long time.

Increase your water intake as dry mouth is also responsible for the growth of bacteria. Eat a balanced diet that consists of calcium, minerals and all the vitamins to ensure a healthy mouth and teeth.

Restrict smoking and alcohol consumption and visit your dentist after every six months for regular examinations. Early detection of gingivitis can go a long way in saving your teeth from decay.

Your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar with the help of scaling and root planning so that the bacteria do not reside on the gum line. If the problem is due to tooth restorations, the practitioner can get it fixed to treat gingivitis.

In addition, you must replace your old toothbrush after every three months or when the bristles become frayed to make sure your teeth are getting cleaned thoroughly. Keep the brush at a 45-degree angle while moving it in soft circular motions.

Do not brush vigorously, as it can affect your gums and hurt them. Flossing is extremely crucial as it reaches the spaces between the teeth where the brush cannot reach. It aids in getting rid of plaque present between the teeth.


If you have sensitive or swollen gums that are causing inconvenience, it is time to visit your dentist in Hope Island. Gingivitis can be treated easily and should be avoided at all costs to maintain healthy gums and teeth.