Gingivitis is a common disease that causes inflammation of the gums thereby making the gum swollen and tender. To start with, it is in mild form and you will hardly notice that you have this disease. Persons having gingivitis usually complain of bleeding gums when they brush their teeth or eat. If left untreated it will progrsess to a more severe form called Periodontitis which is a major cause of tooth loss.
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis can occur due to reasons other than poor oral hygiene and these are puberty, pregnancy, diabetes, leukemia, malnutrition, scurvy, pellagra and poorly fitted dentures, teeth caps, tooth filling and dental plaque and Calculus (tartar).
In general, clinical features of gingivitis may be characterized by the presence of any of the following clinical signs: redness and sponginess of the gums, bleeding on provocation, changes in contour, and presence of calculus or plaque with no radiographic evidence of crestal bone loss.
The gingivitis can be treated by maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing teeth regularly, periodical dental checkups/ cleaning by a dentist, rinsing mouth with anti-septic mouth rinse and fixing dental restorations. In addition lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and having a low sugar and well balanced diet will keep the gingivitis away from you.
The first step in your treatment of gingivitis is thorough cleaning your teeth which includes scaling wherein all traces of plaque and tartar are removed. For people having sensitive gums and high buildup up of tartar and plaque the cleaning process is very uncomfortable. In order to clear the bacteria you might be asked to use an antiseptic mouth rinse. You will also be taught the correct brushing and flossing techniques. You have to practice good oral hygiene for life so that your gum problems don't return.