Good oral hygiene doesn't just protect your teeth. It also protects your gums and keeps them healthy. But if you have noticed that your gums have become red and swollen recently, you could be dealing with a case of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mild form of gum disease that comes before periodontitis—the serious form of gum disease.
To stop gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis, you'll need to see your dentist and make some changes to your lifestyle. But you also need to be aware of what caused your case of gingivitis. Being aware of the cause will help you to make the changes you need to prevent a resurgence of the condition in the future.
Gingivitis has several causes:
Poor oral hygiene
The main purpose of brushing and flossing your teeth each day is to remove food debris and dental plaque. If food debris and plaque accumulate on your teeth because of poor oral hygiene, the oral bacteria inhabiting the plaque may begin to damage your gum tissue. Food debris provides a food source for oral bacteria, which can then breed and spread.
If you skip oral hygiene sessions regularly, or you fail to remove plaque from along the gum line, gingivitis may soon follow.
You need to keep your mouth hydrated to combat oral bacteria, which cling to teeth and live within plaque, the sticky, unpleasant film that forms on teeth throughout the day. Drinking plenty of liquids will help to wash away oral bacteria and help you produce more saliva, which can also wash bacteria away. A dry mouth is the ideal haven for gingivitis-causing bacteria.
Stress has a negative impact on your immune system. And if stress compromises your immune system, your body won't be able to combat oral bacteria effectively and keep your gums healthy. Gingivitis may soon follow.
If you are eating a diet rich in processed foods and foods that contain little nutritional value, your body will lack essential vitamins. This will increase your risk of gingivitis.
When crooked teeth are the cause of gingivitis, your gum tissue will be red and inflamed around the areas with crooked teeth. This is because crooked teeth are hard to clean, and they can harbor food debris and oral bacteria in the spaces between them. In this case, you'll see localized inflammation.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontitis, so take it seriously. For more info, contact a local dentist.