Patient Education

Gingivitis

Gingivitis literally means “inflamed gum tissues”. It is characterized by varying degrees of redness and puffiness. It is caused by plaque accumulation around the gum tissue. Plaque, when looked at under a microscope, is made up mostly of bacteria. It’s the body’s response to the bacteria that causes the gum tissue to be red and inflamed.  The gums may bleed at times, but they are not typically painful. This is why many people ignore the signs of inflammation. It is not normal for healthy gums to bleed; pain and bleeding are both signs of inflammation. Gingivitis does not cause bone loss, but it can progress to Periodontitis, which does cause bone loss. Other factors that can contribute to gum inflammation include smoking, diabetes, stress and some medications.   The inflammation caused by gingivitis is reversible with adequate and frequent plaque removal.

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