What causes gingivitis? Gingivitis is caused by the following factors:
- Plaque biofilm
- Your body’s immune system
- Poor or inadequate oral hygiene
Gingivitis is your body’s inflammatory system’s response to bacteria in an area of the mouth where it should not be. Bacterial plaque easily congregates at the gumlines of the teeth and may extend to areas under the gums as well as between the teeth. When this bacterium is not removed adequately on a routine basis, the body begins to attack the area, sending antibodies to destroy the plaque.
It is similar to having an injury on another portion of your body – if there is an open wound that collects dirt and germs and you neglect to keep it clean, the area will become red, swollen and sore. If you avoided cleaning this area, the infection would persist and become worse, leading to other problems. The same is true when germs and bacteria are not removed efficiently from the gumlines and between the teeth. Not brushing properly, often enough, or avoiding flossing can all cause gingivitis.
Gingivitis can easily be reversed, so the condition only continues to persist when routine maintenance is less than satisfactory.
Patients with missing or crowded teeth may be at more risk to develop gingivitis or gum infections in these areas because the teeth are more difficult to keep clean. Even with very good oral hygiene, shifted or crowded teeth often still collect larger amounts of plaque biofilm.
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