Gingivitis is a dental disease that manifests by inflammation of the gums, followed by swelling, bleeding and a change in normal contours. The main cause of the disease is dental plaque (a film consisting of microorganisms that forms 1-2 hours after brushing your teeth). Irritation caused by plaque leads to the formation of gaps between the gum and the tooth (gingival pocket), in which bacteria settle. Subsequently, tooth decay, may occur.
Secondary factors affecting the development, severity and course of gingivitis are changes in the hormonal background (pregnancy, menopause, puberty), systemic health disorders (type I and type II diabetes mellitus, immunodeficiencies of various etiologies, leukopenia, etc.) taking certain medications (immunosuppressants, calcium channel blockers, oral contraceptives), vitamin deficiency and exposure to heavy metals.
Types of Gingivitis
Simple gingivitis is initially manifested by an increase in the cleft between the gum and the tooth, after which the gum inflammation begins in the form of a red band at the base of the tooth. Later, edema appears, with pressure on which bleeding begins. In this case, pain is almost always absent. Gingivitis can, in rare cases, resolve itself, but most often it develops over many years and can develop into periodontal disease (a progressive inflammatory disease that results in the destruction of periodontal tissues and tooth loss).
Desquamative gingivitis can occur with menopause. Its manifestations are redness of the gums and its bleeding. In the future, gum tissue softens and the inflammatory process worsens.
Gingivitis during pregnancy has some excellent symptoms. During the first trimester, red growths on the leg appear on the gum. They can persist throughout the pregnancy and disappear after childbirth. These growths, in fact, are purulent granulomas that develop rapidly and can be in a static state for a long time. The causes of the occurrence are the same as for simple gingivitis.
To make a diagnosis of gingivitis, confirmation of the presence of redness and loosening of the gum line tissue is necessary. The early detection of the disease is facilitated by the dentist measuring the depth of the gingival pockets of each tooth. Values up to 3 mm are normal; a depth of over 3 mm means there is a high risk of developing the disease.
Treatment and prevention
The main treatment and prevention of gingivitis is to maintain good hygiene. It also usually requires professional cleaning using ultrasonic or hand tools. If gum irritation is caused by poor-quality dental crowns or implants, they must be replaced or corrected. Tumors that occur during pregnancy are removed surgically. With the development of infection, local (in the form of gels) or injectable antibiotics are prescribed. In the presence of systemic disorders, patients should undergo corrective therapy and increase the frequency of professional cleansing (every 2-3 months).