Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissues surrounding the teeth. This is usually characterised by redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. Gingivitis is preventable with sound daily oral care. Gingivitis is caused by the accumulation of plaque along the gum line. Plaque contains bacteria and bacterial toxins (which irritate the gum tissue) resulting in inflammation. Gingivitis can lead to the development of a more serious, irreversible gum disease (periodontal disease). Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and is reversible.

By definition, there is no loss of bone that supports the tooth associated with gingivitis. If treated early, gingivitis can be eliminated. If left untreated, it can progress into the more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis leads to permanent damage of the gum and bone tissue that supports the teeth, and may result in tooth loss.

As mentioned, bleeding gums are one of the signs of gingivitis. Healthy gum tissues should never bleed, even when brushing. Gingivitis is usually painless and can be localised (around a few teeth) or generalised (around most or all of the teeth). Accumulation of the plaque that leads to gingivitis occurs due to insufficient or ineffective tooth brushing and flossing.

Gingivitis can be eliminated with effective daily oral care habits that prevent plaque accumulation. Plaque and tartar (calculus or hardened plaque) must be removed before the gum tissues can heal and the inflammation can be eliminated. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional using special equipment, therefore a professional clean is required. If it has been some time since you had your teeth cleaned properly, it may take more than one appointment to remove all of these hard deposits.

To prevent gingivitis both home and professional care are important.   Having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months allows for regular removal of tartar. Thorough tooth brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day will prevent daily accumulation of the plaque that leads to inflammation. This will also limit the amount of tartar that develops on your teeth between your regular professional cleans. If you keep your teeth and gums clean, they can be healthy and trouble-free for your whole life. To book your next professional clean at DentArtisans you can call us on 9518 7832.