Gingivitis is condition within dentistry that causes the inflammation of the gums. It is also the initial stage of gum disease that can lead to serious issues - if not effectively treated. Plaque, a sticky, soft, colorless bacterial film is the direct cause of gingivitis – plaque is that sticky, soft, colorless bacterial film that affects all of us as it forms over teeth and gums in our mouths.

Daily brushing and flossing can help to reduce the build up of plaque, but even rigorous hygiene and nutrition may not remove all traces of it. If plaque is not completely removed it produces toxins or poisons that will go on to irritate gum tissue and cause gingivitis. If left untreated gingivitis can become a serious periodontal matter and can cause permanent damage to both the teeth and jaw.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis?
The tell-tale symptoms indicating the presence of gingivitis include swollen, tender gums that tend to bleed easily when you brush. Another indication of gum disease is that hums have already receded from your teeth -  leaving the teeth with a somewhat elongated appearance. After that the gum disease can go on to create pockets that form between the teeth and gums, and these pockets are where plaque and food residual collect. Many sufferers experience recurring bad breath or an awful taste in their mouths, even if the disease it not too advanced.

What can I do to prevent gingivitis?
It has probably been inculcated into us by our parents from our earliest recollections, but good and regular oral hygiene is absolutely essential in preventing teeth and gum disease. Regular brushing soon after each and every meal together with proper flossing may seem laborious, but it is important. A professional cleaning is also very important. This is because once plaque has built up and hardened (a condition referred to as tartar) only a dentist can effectively remove it.

Ways to help stop gingivitis before it develops:

• Correct brushing and flossing. This is proven to control plaque and the build up of tartar.
• Eating the right foods. A proper diet will ensure effective nutrition for your teeth and jawbone.
• Avoiding "Contraband." Any form of smoking should be avoided.
• Seeing your Dentist. Your dentist is your greatest friend when it comes to oral well being, so make sure you make a habit of visiting him or her regularly.

We all lead hectic lives which place huge demands on our every waking moment. In our rush to get through the day we may sometimes be tempted to cut corners or reschedule events to a later time. Don’t allow oral hygiene to suffer because you feel it can wait until later. Brush and floss regularly and go for dental check ups at least once a year – more often if you feel something is amiss or you have a dental issue. Our teeth and gums are our companions throughout life’s journey and they deserve to be properly looked after, in exchange for which they will see us through thick and thin.