Gingivitis is a leading periodontal disease that affects many Singaporeans as well as many people around the world. It is caused by bacteria, resulting in the swelling of the gums. People with gingivitis will notice blood when flossing.
While gingivitis will go away on its own over regular brushing of teeth, left untreated it can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss. As soon as you notice that your gums are swollen and inflamed, it is important to visit a periodontist for gingivitis treatment.
The different type of gingivitis
There are two main types of gingivitis. These are:
Dental Plaque – causes of this type of gingival disease include malnutrition, plaque, certain medication, and systemic factors.
Non-plaque induced gingival lesions – a bacterium, fungus or virus can cause this type of gingival disease. Illnesses and even genetic factors could also contribute to it.
Causes of gingivitis
Of all the various causes of gingivitis, the most popular and most common is plaque accumulation between and around the teeth. This causes the body to produce an immune response which can ultimately cause it to destroy gum tissue. Furthermore, this can lead to teeth loss.
But what is dental plaque?
This occurs naturally around the teeth. The main culprits are bacteria trying to attach themselves to the smooth part of the teeth.
However, these bacteria have a useful function as they can prevent other types of bacteria and microorganisms from taking over the mouth. Unfortunately, they will also cause periodontal problems including tooth decay.
Plaque needs to be controlled through regular brushing of teeth. Otherwise, it causes tartar or calculus which forms at the base of the teeth resulting in yellow colouring. When it reaches this stage, it cannot be removed through brushing. Your only choice is to go to seek the services of a professional.
If left untreated, the plaque and tartar will cause irritation around the gum which will lead to the inflammation and swelling of the gums.
Some other causes of gingivitis include:
Hormonal changes – significant hormonal changes occur during puberty, menstruation, and menopause or during pregnancy. This could cause sensitivity in the gums which increases the likelihood of gingivitis.
Genetics – people who have one or both parents affected by gingivitis are at a higher chance of getting gingivitis.
Certain diseases – diseases such as HIV, cancer, and diabetes are connected with a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
Smoking – smokers are at higher risk of developing gingivitis when compared to nonsmokers.
Certain medication – some medications that may cause less saliva resulting in gingivitis and overgrowth of gum tissue.
Malnutrition – lacking sufficient vitamin c in your diet has been linked to developing gingivitis.
Age – older people are more likely to develop gingivitis compared to younger people.
The symptoms of gingivitis
People who have mild cases of gingivitis will often not experience any discomfort in the mouth. However, common symptoms include:
- Tender and inflamed gums that are painful when touched
- Swollen gums
- Bright red gums
- Bleeding after flossing or brushing
- Receding gums
- Soft gums
Diagnosis of receding gums
If you notice any of the above signs and symptoms it is important that you visit a periodontist in Singapore. They will conduct an oral examination and check for signs of calculus, plaque or tartar.
They will also check if you have periodontitis as well as examining the pocket depths between your teeth and gums.
Treatment of gingivitis
If the periodontist catches your gingivitis in its early stages, it can offer medication and treat it completely. Note that the treatment process will usually be a joint effort between you and your periodontist.
The periodontist will begin by removing the tartar and the plaque. If you have sensitive gums then this can be a bit uncomfortable. However, the procedure is necessary in order to completely remove the tartar.
Note that the periodontist may require you to make several visits in order to completely remove the plaque in a process known as scaling.
Furthermore, the doctor will advise you on the proper way to observe oral hygiene to prevent further development of plaque.
If you have damaged teeth, it is important that you get them fixed. Note that dental issues could also play a part in the development of plaque and could make it more difficult to clean it such as having crooked teeth or poorly fitted crowns or bridges.
As for the patient’s role in all this, you must ensure that you clean and brush your teeth at least two times a day. It is also important to floss teeth once every day to remove any food particles between the teeth. For those hard to reach areas, a good solution is to rinse the mouth with antiseptic.
When looking for a periodontist, it is important to get treatment from one who has many years of experience such as Dr Marlene Teo. They can offer quality treatment and mitigate the risks associated with gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a common gum disease that affects many Singaporeans. It can lead to periodontitis if left untreated. This is why it is important to understand the signs and symptoms and to see a periodontist immediately you notice that you have any of these. Luckily it can be treated resulting in healthy-looking teeth.
Dr Marlene Teo
360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido,
International Building, Singapore 238869
+65 8588 9868