When bacteria start to develop and grow tartar at the base of the teeth, irritating the gums, you are likely to have Gingivitis. The gum disease occurs when the germs attack the tissues that surround the gums and teeth.
Gingivitis starts when the sugar or starch in our food accumulate inside our mouth. When we fail to brush our teeth, these food particles react with bacteria to form plaque—a soft and sticky material, which can be removed through regular brushing and flossing. However, when our teeth are not cleaned properly, the plaque hardens and develops to form tartar, which now becomes the breeding place for germs.
Aside from the lack of dental hygiene, gingivitis can also be caused by other factors, such as poor nutrition, hormonal changes (in pregnant women) or due to side effects from medications.
You are likely to have gingivitis if your gums bleed easily. This gum disease is also marked by red or swollen gums. Note that when the gums are in healthy condition, they are usually pale pink. When infected, they easily turn bright red. If they get especially inflamed, the gums turn soft and puffy. In addition, they also become sensitive and tender. Bad breath may also accompany these symptoms.
During the first stages of gingivitis, we tend to ignore the signs and symptoms. However, please take note that if this is left untreated, gingivitis could lead to a more serious problem; even to the extent of tooth loss. Maintaining good dental hygiene is the key to preventing this gum disease.