What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a painless condition. Hence the symptoms are not recognized in the initial stages. Gingivitis is completely reversible, when treated in the early stages. The initial symptoms of Gingivitis are;
- Bright red or purple gums.
- Swollen and puffy gums
- Gums tender or painful to touch.
- Bleeding gums. Gums bleed while brushing, while consuming food or spontaneously.
- Receding gums.
- Bad breath also known as Halitosis.
Early recognition of the problem and treatment ensures healthy teeth. If left untreated, it might progress to Periodontitis.
What are the reasons for gingivitis or bleeding from gums?
Bleeding from gums is a very common problem across the world and people often tend to ignore this symptom. Bleeding gums point to the underlying Gingivitis.
Factors such as tartar, poor oral hygiene, mechanical irritation from faulty prosthesis/restoration (tooth filling) or general factors like vitamin C deficiency, bleeding disorders, hormonal changes, few medicines lead to gingivitis and bleeding from gums
Vit C deficiency: Can lead to defective formation of factors which are crucial in blood clotting. Hence persons suffering from Vit C deficiency tend to bleed easily. This is also visible as bleeding from gums.
Vit C supplements after proper screening and as per the suggestion of physician can improve the condition.
Bleeding disorders: These disorders are due to defect in clotting factors of the blood and should be treated accordingly
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during Puberty, Menstrual cycle, Pregnancy; Menopause might sensitize gums and alter the type of microorganism growth in gums. This can predispose the individual to gingivitis.
Medications: Few of the medicines like anti hypertensives used to treat blood pressure, anti-convulsants which are used to treat convulsions might act as a predisposing factor for gingivitis. Consultation with the attending physician and changing the medicines should easily solve this problem.
What are the causes of gingivitis?
A thin bacterial bio-film called plaque that is adhered to tooth surface is the main reason for gingivitis. The microorganisms in the plaque produce chemicals that irritate & destroy the gum tissue.
The hardened plaque called tartar or calculus mechanically irritates the gums and also harbors microorganisms that release toxins into the gum tissue.
These irritants induce swelling in gums, and bleeding either while brushing or spontaneously.