Could You Have Gingivitis and Not Know It?
August 13, 2008 8:26pm CST
Many people think that if their gums don't bleed, their gums are healthy. But the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can cause more subtle symptoms, such as swelling, red gums, and tooth sensitivity. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. If untreated, gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Symptoms of Gingivitis One common sign of gum disease is chronic bad breath or a sour taste in the mouth, which is caused by bacteria and food particles lodged between the teeth. Other typical signs include tooth sensitivity and sore or bleeding gums. Loose teeth are also an indicator. Risk Factors for Gingivitis Certain factors like poor oral hygiene or a family history of gum disease can cause gingivitis, but pregnancy, puberty, menstruation, or menopause also increase your risk. Hormones are elevated at these times, which cause tissue inflammation and increased response to bacteria. People with diabetes are three times more likely to develop gum disease.