Gingivaplasia: What Is It?
The word “gingivitis” comes from the Greek words “gigno,” which means “to grow,” and “vasosis,” meaning inflammation or swelling. Gingivitis is a common condition that occurs when plaque builds up inside your gums (gingi). When plaque builds up, it causes pain and discomfort in your mouth. You may experience some bleeding, redness, and sensitivity around your teeth. Your gums may bleed easily, especially during the night.
What Are Some Symptoms Of Gingivitis?
There are many symptoms associated with gingivitis. These include:
Bleeding between your teeth (gingivospasm)
Painful bleeding in your gums (gingivorrhea)
Redness and swelling of the gums (gingivacutaneous)
Swelling of the tissues surrounding your teeth, such as around the front teeth or behind them (gingivagangliae)
Tenderness or swelling of your lips, tongue, cheeks, chin, jawline or throat (tingling or itching)
How Do I Know If I Have It?
It is possible that you may have gingivitis and not even realize it. You may start to feel pain, bleeding or discomfort when you eat. You may also notice that your teeth become increasingly sensitive, especially if the condition has been present for awhile. In fact, you may experience a lot of pain when eating certain foods. While this is not a surefire way to figure out if you have gingivitis, it is a good place to start when determining if you do or do not have this condition.
What Causes It?
Gingivitis is caused by plaque and tartar buildup along the gumline. This causes irritation of your gums, which will cause them to become red, swollen and bleed easily. In addition, food becomes trapped in the spaces between your teeth and the gums. If you do not remove it, the food will rot or become moldy. This leads to a serious infection that can cause more problems than bleeding gums.
How Do I Get Rid Of It?
There are several different ways to treat gingivitis. The first step is to identify the underlying cause(s) of the condition. Common causes may be hygiene or diet. Your dentist will be able to point out any potential problems you have in these areas. Once any potential problems have been addressed, a deep cleaning may be able to remove tartar and plaque that has built up on your teeth. Depending on how severe the case is, you may need to visit your dentist every three months for professional cleanings.
The next step in eliminating gingivitis is flossing and brushing your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that will harden into tartar if not cleaned off regularly. It is best to do this twice a day.
In addition to brushing and flossing, you may wish to visit your dentist once every six months to have your teeth cleaned. This will help return your teeth to a healthier state, and eliminate the pain and potential dangers caused by gingivitis.
In addition to professional cleanings at the dentist’s office, you can use a special toothpaste designed for people with sensitive teeth. These types of toothpastes are generally much gentler on your mouth and teeth. There are even some that can reverse and remove any of the tartar buildup you may have acquired.
What Are Some Tips For Preventing It?
There are some things you can do to help prevent developing gingivitis or reinfecting an existing infection. These include:
Brush your teeth two to three times a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The toothbrush should be changed every three to four months, after which time it will no longer effectively clean your teeth.
Floss at least once a day. Flossing is especially important if you have had any dental work done such as fillings, extractions, or dental implants.
Have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every six months.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet to ensure that your teeth get the vitamins they need to stay healthy. Foods high in Vitamin C will help keep gums firm and healthy.
Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco as these both contribute to the destruction of gum tissue.
What Are Some Other Things I Should Know?
It is very important to visit a dentist if you are experiencing any type of pain in your mouth or bleeding of the gums. Even if you do not have a dental insurance, most dentists will provide treatment at a low cost or minimal expense if necessary.
Gingivitis can lead to several other major medical issues if left untreated for extended periods of time. These may include heart disease and pregnancy complications.
Gingivitis may be more common in people who have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse.
Gingivitis can occur in children as well as adults. Children usually get gingivitis from not taking care of their teeth or not brushing and flossing after eating sugary or starchy foods.
Gingivitis is most commonly caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that constantly forms on the teeth when they are in contact with food or drink unless cleaned off. It consists of organic material from the food, saliva and diverse bacteria.
If this plaque is not cleaned off, it hardens into tartar which then irritates the gums and causes the immune system to react. The gums then become swollen and puffy and turn a red or sometimes even blackish color. The reasons why plaque becomes tartar is because it consists of organic material from the food being chewed as well as minerals in saliva which gradually harden on the teeth and combine with the plaque. This can lead to further problems if left untreated, such as bone loss around the roots of the teeth and potentially tooth loss.
Gingivitis can usually be reversed if caught in time.
Sources & references used in this article:
Incidence of diphenylhydantoin gingival hyperplasia by AP Angelopoulos, PW Goaz – Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, 1972 – Elsevier
Clinical and pharmacologic correlations in cyclosporine-induced gingival hyperplasia by TD Daley, GP Wysocki, C Day – Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, 1986 – Elsevier
Gingival hyperplasia caused by nifedipine: Histopathologic findings by S Barak, IS Engelberg, J Hiss – Journal of Periodontology, 1987 – Wiley Online Library
Gingival hyperplasia caused by nifedipine—a preliminary report by Y Ramon, S Behar, Y Kishon… – International …, 1984 – internationaljournalofcardiology.com
Medically induced gingival hyperplasia by SJ Meraw, PJ Sheridan – Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 1998 – Elsevier