Posts Tagged ‘periodontitis’

What Is Gingivitis and What Causes It?

Thursday, April 9th, 2009
What causes gingivitis?

What causes gingivitis, and how can it be treated?

Gingivitis is a non-serious form of gum disease meaning it is mild, but it can lead to a much more serious periodontal disease.  It can cause gum swelling, but in many causes there might not even be any symptoms, which is dangerous in itself.  Inflammation and infection caused by gingivitis can destroy mouth tissues that support the teeth.  If slight gingivitis problems are not treated properly, they an turn into more damaging types of periodontal diseases.

The main cause of gingivitis is not practicing proper oral hygiene.  If you do not brush and floss regularly, plaque can build up.  Plaque is made up of food deposits, bacteria, mucus and other things that can build up on the visible parts of your teeth.  Tartar is the result of plaque buildup, and gingivitis can be caused when the gums are irritated and inflamed enough from the tartar and plaque.

More causes of gingivitis include possibly brushing your teeth too roughly, or using a toothbrush that is not soft enough.  Various lifestyle factors can increase your risk for gingivitis, including general illness, poor dental hygiene (as aforementioned), and hormonal changes caused by uncontrolled diabetes, pregnancy, or menopause.

Some gingivitis symptoms are:  red or swollen gums, gums bleeding during toothbrushing, chronic bad tastes in mouth, and halitosis (bad breath).  When gingivitis proceeds to worsen, symptoms may include receding gums, nerve root exposure and sensitivity, and teeth may become loose or fall out.

The symptoms of advanced-stage gingivitis can lead to or indicate periodontitis.

In order to stop gingivitis from progressing, it is very important to get the proper dental care. The available treatments for gingivitis require effort from the affected person.  A dentist will likely prescribe a treatment plan like the following:  1) prescription of an antibacterial mouthwash, 2) strict oral hygiene regimen, 3) proper brushing of teeth, 4) daily flossing, and 5) regulary dental cleanings by a professional.

In extreme cases, gingivitis could even require oral surgery in order to get rid of it.  However, it is not too hard to avoid the problem if you take proper care of your teeth and gums and know what warning signs to watch for.

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Green Tea May Help Prevent Periodontitis

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

According to research done among middle-aged Japanese, the risks of having periodontitis (gum disease) decreased as their consumption of green tea increased.  The symptoms of gum disease, including receding and bleeding gums, decreased for each cup of green tea they drank on a daily basis.

Obviously this does not mean that having green tea is a replacement for seeing the dentist or practicing good oral hygiene.   One of the researchers of this study, Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki, told Reuters Health that the relationship between the consumption of green tea and having a lower risk of gum disease was not strong enough to alter one’s oral hygiene.  Practicing good overall oral care is most important.

The researchers had studied 940 men between ages 49-59 for periodontal disease symptoms in Fukuoka, Japan. The research also involved a questionnaire on topics like smoking, drinking, tooth-brushing habits and green tea consumption.

The studies showed that as one drank more green tea, the likeliness of getting gum disease decreased even with the influence of other lifestyle factors. However, the researchers lacked information on the men’s overall diet, which could have included other nutrients that can protect against gum disease.

Green tea has antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which would be the reason it would combat gum disease.  Research shows that green tea polyphenols can hinder the strength of the bacteria causing gum disease and the damage it causes.

SOURCE: Journal of Periodontology, March 2009.

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