Gingivitis is the initial phase of gum disease, it is characterised by red, swollen and inflamed gums which can bleed when brushing or flossing.
It is caused by bacteria that proliferate within the mouth to become plaque and tarter if proper oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing and flossing are not met.
Gingivitis, if left untreated, can lead to advanced gum disease, or periodontitis which causes bone loss and eventually loss of teeth. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in Australian adults, more so than cavities and trauma and it is preventable and/ or manageable if diagnosed early.
To minimise the risk of gingivitis, it is important that people undertake certain steps when taking care of their teeth and gums:
1) Brushing with a soft toothbrush, a least twice daily
2) Flossing daily to remove bacteria and food particles between teeth
3) Seeing your dentist at Confident Healthcare at least twice a year for check-ups and cleans to ensure optimum oral health
If you are pregnant and notice your gums have become red, swollen and may bleed when brushing, you may have what is called Gestational Gingivitis. This condition is usually as a result of hormones during pregnancy and usually subsides after delivery. During this time ensure that you take extra care of your teeth and gums to minimise the chance of any pregnancy complications that can be linked to gum disease.