1 in 2 American adults suffer with gingivitis though many are unaware they have it. Gingivitis or gum inflammation is caused by plaque (sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that forms on the tooth surface). If plaque is not removed (by daily brushing and flossing) it produces toxins that may irritate the gum tissue, inevitably causing gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated it can lead to periodontitis or gum disease.
What are the signs of gingivitis? Signs include: bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, receding gums, red or swollen gums, or loose teeth. Also, some may experience persistent bad breath. Prevent gingivitis by developing healthy oral habits, brush (twice a day) and floss (once a day). Avoid smoking; smoking makes it harder for the gums to self-repair. In addition, maintain a well balanced diet and try your best to reduce stress! This will help your immune system fight off infection.
Never ignore the signs! Report any concerns to your dentist!