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What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a type of gum disease that is actually pretty common. Fortunately, it’s also the mildest form of gum disease, and if you treat it quickly, you can deal with it before anything serious happens. Gingivitis treatment is normally not a major procedure, but it’s always best to avoid dealing with gum disease at all. To do that, you need to know what causes gingivitis so you can do your best to prevent it from happening.

Poor Oral Hygiene Is Usually the Cause

If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it’s very likely that you’re going to develop gingivitis. That’s because the plaque that forms on the teeth is able to slowly work its way into your gums. Your gums then become inflamed. You may notice that your gums easily bleed when you brush your teeth. That’s an early sign of gingivitis.

Over time, if you don’t take better care of your teeth and have your gingivitis treated, it can advance into periodontitis, a much more severe condition. When this occurs, the inner part of your gums pull away from your teeth, making them looser. Bacteria can then get into these spaces and lead to more serious infections. You can lose your teeth, plus the bone that holds them in place can actually get destroyed.

Other Factors

While a lack of good oral care is the leading cause of gingivitis, there are a few other things that can play a part in its development. If you’re going through a hormonal change, including menopause and pregnancy, it can actually make it easier to develop gingivitis. Dealing with one of a number of illnesses, especially those that affect the immune system, can also make it harder for your body to fight off the bacteria that lead to gingivitis.

Some medications can also make it easier to get gingivitis because they cause dry mouth. Without saliva, your mouth can’t wash away debris and bacteria, so they’re more likely to stay on your teeth and cause problems. Habits such as smoking also make it more difficult for your mouth to defend itself against bacteria.

Do you suspect you’re dealing with gingivitis? If so, James R. Anderson, DDS, can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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