What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis refers to the gum or gingival inflammation. This occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria or film of plaques in the teeth. As such Gingivitis is a non-destructive disease but when left untreated, may progress to periodontitis which eventually leads to loss of teeth.

In Gingivitis, the gums are red and puffy that tend to bleed when the person brushes his teeth. Gingivitis can be overcome by maintaining good oral hygiene like longer and frequent brushing, flossing and using antiseptic mouthwash. The symptoms of gingivitis are normally mild.

Types, Causes and Treatment of Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be of two types:

Dental Plaque induced gingival disease: This condition is caused either by malnutrition, medications, plaque or systemic factors.

Non- plaque induced gingival lesions: This type of a disease is caused by specific bacterium, virus or fungus. Also the condition may be caused by genetic factors, systemic conditions, wounds, reactions to foreign bodies like dentures and due to some allergic reactions.


Gingivitis may be caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaques in and around the teeth. The immune reaction triggered by plaques may lead to destruction of gums and eventually loss of teeth. Dental plaque is the natural accumulation of biofilm on the teeth. This occurs by the colonization of bacteria that tries to stick to the smooth surface of the teeth. These colonizing bacteria protect the mouth from colonization of harmful bacteria but the plaques may also cause tooth decay and periodontal problems like gingivitis. Unattended plaques may harden into calculus or tartar at the base of the teeth near the gums. The plaques are yellow in color and can only be removed professionally. Plaques and tartar cause irritation to the gums and cause inflammation at the base of the teeth.

During puberty, menopause, the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, the gingival might become very sensitive increasing the risk of inflammation. Some diseases like cancer, diabetes and HIV pose a high risk for developing gingivitis. Drugs, smoking and poor diet are linked to gum disease. Also the risk of gingivitis increases with age and having a family history of the disease.

The signs and symptoms of gingivitis include, bright red or purple gums which are tender and painful to touch, bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, bad breath, inflammation and soft gums.

Diagnosis is generally made through X-ray and periodontal probing using instruments that measure the pocket depths around a tooth. Early diagnosis and a prompt follow up may reverse the disease.

The treatment primarily includes scaling that is removing the plaques and tartar, root planning that smooths rough spots and removes plaque and tartar from the root surface, and use of lasers to remove plaques and tartars with less pain and bleeding. This is followed up by maintenance of good oral hygiene that involves brushing the teeth twice daily, using an electric toothbrush, flossing the teeth and rinsing the teeth with mouthwash.

The complications of untreated gingivitis may lead to serious conditions like periodontitis and loss of teeth. Also tooth diseases are linked to cardiovascular diseases like stroke or heart attack.

Without treatment gum disease can spread and affect teeth, the underlying tissues and bones that may lead to complications like, abscess or infection in jaw bone, recurrent gingivitis, bacterial infections and ulceration of gums.

Gums attach to the teeth at a lower point than the edges of the gums that form a small space called the sulcus. Food and plaque get trapped in sulcus and cause gum infection or gingivitis.

Vithoba Ayurvedic toothpaste and Vithobha Ayurvedic Dantmanjan are referred by most of the doctors for gingivitis, cavities, plaque, tartar, yellowing of teeth and swollen gums. Use of these Ayurvedic products of Vithoba from early childhood is sure to prevent dental decay and makes you smile with confidence throughout your life

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