Gingivitis is a mild and common form of gum disease. Gingivitis is caused when plaque—a naturally occurring sticky film that contains bacteria—builds up on teeth, causing redness, swollen/puffy gums, and gums that easily bleed when brushing/flossing. Gingivitis can be prevented and reversed with good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular dental checkups. If gingivitis is left untreated it can lead to much more serious gum disease (periodontal disease) called periodontitis, which can result in tooth loss.
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, as this allows plaque to form and build up on teeth. Other factors that may increase your risk of gingivitis include: -Smoking/tobacco: one of the greatest risk factors associated with gum disease; smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment -Stress: constant stress can weaken your immune system and negatively impact your ability to fight infection -Dry mouth: having a reduced amount of saliva in the mouth can result in plaque buildup that can lead to gingivitis -Hormonal changes: such as puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and monthly menstruation can increase inflammation and sensitivity -Poor nutrition: deprives the body of important nutrients and makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection -Medications: some medications cause dry mouth that can indirectly contribute to gingivitis/ periodontal disease -Chronic diseases: such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV, etc. Any condition that weakens your immune response increases your risk of getting gingivitis