Gingivitis (often referred to as gum disease) causes your gums to become red, inflamed and swollen. It can cause your gums to bleed when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis is normally caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that consists of bacteria, and is usually removed when you brush your teeth. If plaque is left to build up, the bacteria release toxins that can irritate your gums, making them painful.
Who gets gingivitis?
Most people have a mild case of gingivitis during their lifetime. It is important to look after your teeth and gums, and to treat any case of gingivitis. A mild case of gingivitis can usually be treated through developing a good oral hygiene routine, including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. If it is not treated, gingivitis can develop into other forms of gum disease that cause more serious complications.
Periodontitis is another form of gum disease that affects your gums, and often follows a case of gingivitis. It can make your teeth feel loose and, in some cases, fall out.