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Gum disease (Gingivitis)

Clinical Overview


Reviewed by: Dr. Kristen Dority

The mildest form of gum or periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition in which dental plaque and tartar irritates gums and gives rise to infection and inflammation. Although there is generally no discomfort with gingivitis, gums do become red and swollen, and bleed easily. Inadequate oral hygiene that leads to longterm plaque buildup is a major cause of gingivitis. Injuries to the gums from over-brushing or over-flossing along with misaligned teeth or ill-fitting crowns, bridges, and dentures can also cause gingivitis. Diabetes, smoking, poor nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV, and some pharmaceutical drugs are also associated with the problem. It has also been found to run in families.

Last updated: May-03-07

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