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Healthy Moms Dictionary - What is Gingivitis?

Posted Nov 17 2008 4:14pm

Sometimes we get so busy that it is hard to set aside two minutes to brush our teeth during the day. I try to brush, floss and rinse every day but life's obstacles and fatigue tend to get in my way. Today the Healthy Moms dictionary will explore periodontal disease and gingivitis.

According to Perio.Org, "Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene, which leads to plaque buildup."

This is why brushing your teeth, flossing and rinsing every day are very important. You may also be more at risk for getting gingivitis if you are diabetic, a smoker, over the age of 50, have a genetic predisposition, under a lot of stress, pregnant, a drug addict, or have HIV. Some medications may also cause gingivitis.

In January 1999 a study was published in the Journal of Periodontology that concluded that 23 percent of women ages 30 to 54 have periodontitis (an advanced state of periodontal disease in which there is active destruction of the periodontal supporting tissues). And, 44 percent of women ages 55 to 90 who still have their teeth have periodontitis.

What can you do to protect your oral health and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease? Make sure you brush and floss every day and see your dentist twice a year. If you have any of these symptoms, bleeding gums during brushing, red, swollen or tender gums, gums that have pulled away from the teeth, pus between the teeth and gums, persistent bad breath, loose or separating teeth, or a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite see your dentist right away.


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