Just about everyone has heard of gingivitis. Unless you are a dentist, it is likely that gingivitis is the only gum disease you have ever heard of. Even the word itself has a sort of ring to it. Gingiva is the area of gum around the teeth, hence the word gingivitis. At least if you don’t continue to read you learned something useful. Perhaps you thought gingivitis has to do with toxic levels of ginger root consumption, and you will be leaving now. In that case farewell. For those of you who stay, you will learn the ins and outs of this fairly common type of gum disease.
What is it?
Well, in case you just got here and skimmed past the intro paragraph, gingivitis is a type of gum disease.
What are the Symptoms?
Huh. The previous section was really short. Only one sentence about what it is. The symptoms of gingivitis include but are not limited to the following; swelling, redness, soreness, inflammation, and a general state of discomfort.
Do I Have Gingivitis?
The likelihood that you have gingivitis is actually quite steep. In studies by the Center for Disease Control, it was estimated that almost half of adults in the United States have periodontal disease (gum disease). Don’t worry, this data takes into account even the most mild diagnosis of gum disease. If you are the type of person that takes the time to self-diagnose about gingivitis by looking through world wide interwebs, it is likely that your case of gingivitis is in the mild and early stages of development. In many cases, gingivitis is caused by a lack of oral hygiene. We all know we need to brush our teeth. Unfortunately, the gums can be overlooked. Other causes may not be a lack of hygiene. Perhaps a list would be helpful?
- Lack of oral hygiene
- Old age
- Dry mouth
- Malnutrition (especially vitamin C deficiency)
- Certain drugs (don’t do drugs kids)
- Genetics (bad luck, I guess)
- Hormonal changes related to pregnancy (not fair, I know)
- Medical conditions
What’s the takeaway here? Brush your teeth and floss. Don’t ignore giving your gingiva attention. There’s that word again. You’d forgotten about it huh? If you end up with gum disease in spite of having good oral hygiene, definitely make a beeline to your dentist for help.