What causes gingivitis?

Woman with gum inflammation closeupOne of the most common dental diseases is that of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontitis, sometimes referred to as gum disease or periodontal disease. This infection can cause the development of swelling, inflammation, and redness of the gum tissues. While this condition is a mild and early stage of periodontal disease, it can transform if not properly diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Without treatment, patients are putting their smile at risk of developing issues including the loss of gum tissue, bone, and teeth.

What causes gingivitis?

Gingivitis is typically caused by poor oral health habits. When patients fail to brush their teeth and floss each day, they are allowing a sticky film called plaque to develop on the surfaces of the teeth and along the gumline. When food you eat interacts with the plaque and the natural bacteria in the mouth, it can cause this film to harden and become tartar or calculus. Tartar and calculus are difficult to remove and can only be done by a dental professional. However, leaving the problem to continue to develop can result in the formation of infection and more significant issues in the smile. This is why the team at New Smiles Dental of Sherwood, OR works regularly with patients to urge them to be mindful and prudent in caring for their oral health.

What are some other causes of gingivitis?

Some patients may be at a higher risk of developing this condition than others. Knowing your risk factors and how manage them can help you and your dental team keep your smile healthy. Below are other common causes to consider and advise your dentist on:

  • Increasing age
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco use
  • Conditions such as dry mouth
  • Viral and fungal infections
  • Lowered immune system
  • Patients with diabetes
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy

Early detection of gingivitis and other dental problems is key

Avoiding extensive damage to the smile requires daily care and routine visits to the dental office for evaluations and cleanings. If you live in the Sherwood, OR area and want to speak to a professional about your oral health needs, connect with the team at New Smiles Dental. We are conveniently located at 17680 SW Handley, Ste. #101 and accept new patients who call (503) 925-9595 for an appointment.  

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