What is Gingivitis?
When plaque is allowed to accumulate on teeth, the body mounts a defensive process called inflammation. This results in the gum becoming red and swollen as the blood vessels enlarge and allow defensive white blood cells into the area to prevent bacteria entering the body. We call this gingivitis. Common symptoms include bleeding when brushing or flossing and even spontaneous blood while sleeping. The condition is not generally painful and is quickly reversible by removing sufficient plaque to a level the body can handle. This is usually achieved with a toothbrush and cleaning between the teeth with either floss and/or small brushes. In people that are susceptible to periodontitis, gingivitis is the first step towards further breakdown of the tooth’s supporting structures and needs to be controlled if there is any hope of also controlling the periodontitis.