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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes gingivitis?

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  • 1


    Dr Barbara Szylkarski has 18 years experience in private practice dentistry for adults and children. She has also worked alongside one of brisbanes renowned prosthodontists, … View Profile

    Gingivitis is the initial stages of gum disease. It is an inflammation of the gum due to plaque, the soft sticky stuff that sticks to your teeth in a film that holds bacteria.

    It forms constantly on the teeth and gums. It must be removed with good brushing and good flossing every day otherwise the plaque produces a substance that the gums hate.

    This substance is like a poison for the gums causing them to swell, bleed and become sore ie: gingivitis!

    So in other words the cause of gingivitis is not brushing and flossing daily.

  • 2


    Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva). It commonly occurs because of films of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth - plaque; this type is called plaque-induced gingivitis. Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

    A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth. Generally, gingivitis resolves with good oral hygiene - longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing. Some people find that using an antiseptic mouthwash, alongside proper tooth brushing and flossing also helps.

    In mild cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, the condition should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.

  • For gingivitis to develop, plaque must accumulate in the areas between the teeth and on the gumline of the teeth. This plaque contains large numbers of bacteria thought to be responsible for the inflammation of the gums . Gingiva is gum , any “ itis” is inflammation ..such as tonsilitis (inflammation of tonsils and so on ) So its gingivitis or inflammation of the gums . Food that you eat pushes plaque and food to the gumline when eating . Try it with an apple .   Plaque as opposed to food is whitish and hangs around the gumline . Most people have a mild to moderate gingivitis . Which does not necessarily lead to periodontitis or bone loss and pocketing of teeth .
       So be BRAVE !!!  . Brush your teeth at the gumline (where it may hurt a little and bleed for the first few days) FLOSS YOUR TEETH AND TAKE IT RIGHT DOWN INTO THE  POCKETS OF THE GUM ON BOTH  SIDES OF THE 2 TEETH THAT YOUR FLOSSING .It feels like your cutting the gum….that is not possible with floss ,its just the inflammation . Brush gently and do not avoid the areas that bleed on the gum . May be for the first time you will be removing plaque from your teeth .
    Angle your brush into the gum a little .  Good Luck !

  • Jaffar Dental - Trusted and Established since 1997. We are a family owned General Dental Practice offering a friendly and caring environment in Waterford QLD. … View Profile

    Inadequate removal of plaque and food particles from the gumline area of teeth, especially in between the teeth.

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