June 4, 2018 10:00 am

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease which starts with the growth of bacteria in the mouth and can evolve to periodontitis which can cause tooth loss if not treated well. Gingivitis and periodontitis are two distinct phases of gum disease: typically the first precedes the second.

Characteristics of gingivitis

  • Localized involvement in the gum.
  • Existence of oral biofilm as an origin or aggravating injury.
  • Inflammation (enlargement of the gingival contour, change of colour towards red or reddish-blue colour etc.).
  • Stable insertion levels.
  • Reversibility of the disease by eliminating the factors that have produced it.

Causes of gingivitis

The gingivitis appear as an accumulation of oral biofilm gums and may be exacerbated by factors such as braces and dental restorations, low levels of ascorbic acid, function or abnormal number of blood cells, poor metabolic control of diabetes, certain medications, oral contraceptives, hormonal changes (in the days before ovulation, during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and during the circumpuberal period), among other things.

Prevention of gingivitis

The simplest way to prevent gingivitis is to control the plaque located within the mouth. This can be achieved by following the instructions given by your dental professional, such as eliminating oral biofilm using ultrasound or curettes. Followed by this is a polish which is usually carried out and included in a periodic maintenance program. However if you are within the periodontitis stage then a surgical procedure may be needed.


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  2. Armitage, GC Development of a classification system for periodontal diseases and conditions . Ann Periodontol 1999; 4: 1-6.
  3. Caton, JG, Mariotti, A, Zackin, J et al. Consensus Report: Dental Plaque- Induced Gingival Diseases. Ann periodontol 1999; 4 (1): 18-19.
  4. Firm Canhoto, JP and Ripol Cabo, Silvestre. Gingivitis. Clinical forms Prevention and treatment. Oral hygiene manual. Spanish society of periodontics and osseointegration. Editorial Panamericana Medical. Buenos Aires, Madrid, 2009.


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