The term gingivitis refers to the inflammation and the bleeding of the gums. The main symptoms of gingivitis are the swelling of the gums, bad breath, as well as bright red and bleeding gums, especially during brushing. In extreme cases, gums pull back from tooth surface, exposing the root surface of the teeth. In the first stages, the symptoms are milder and do not cause any pain. This is why many patients ignore them, often not seeking treatment before gingivitis progresses to Periodontitis.
Gingivitis often comes from the accumulation of plaque and tartar creation between the teeth and the gums. The microbial plaque, which gathers between the teeth and the gums, produces acids which reach the periodontium thus irritating the gums. Gingivitis, however, is not only caused by neglected oral hygiene, but is also due to hereditary factors, acute traumatic occlusion, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance, smoking, diabetes, blood pressure, intense stress or incorrect prosthetic work (crowns, bridges, fillings).
The focus of treatment is to remove plaque. Therapy is aimed at the reduction of oral bacteria and may take the form of 1-2 visits to a dental professional, along with adequate oral hygiene home care.