Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums caused by acids produced from plaque, tartar and sugars. Symptoms can include redness, puffiness, tenderness and bleeding of the gums. Without treatment, gingivitis can lead to more advanced gum disease called Periodontitis.
Treatment for gingivitis may involve a professional cleaning of the teeth followed by proper daily home care such as brushing and flossing. A prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinse may be prescribed as well.
Pregnancy has also been known to cause a form of Gingivitis. This has been linked to hormonal changes in the woman's body that promote plaque production.
Periodontitis is inflammation of the gum tissue as well as the bone that supports the teeth. Pockets form around the teeth as a result of acids produced by plaque, tartar and sugars. Gradually the bone deteriorates until there is not enough bone to support the teeth. As a result, tooth loss occurs.
Periodontitis is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is called a "silent disease" because most often symptoms of bone loss go unnoticed.
In many cases, Gum Disease can be avoided by proper brushing and flossing, periodic dental exams and professional removal of tartar and plaque. In some cases, a procedure called root planning may be necessary to remove tartar and smooth the root surfaces to allow healing and help the gums to reattach to the tooth surface.