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GINGIVITIS
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The term used to describe an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth or gums is Gingivitis. There are several forms of this condition which can be divided into three groups:

1. Infective forms of gingivitis
2. Hyperplastic forms of gingivitis
3. Simple gingivitis

By far the most common form of gingivitis is the simple type. It is characterized by an inflammatory process that may be either acute or chronic. Change in the color of the gums from pink to red is common, and there is usually slight enlargement of the tissue. In many cases the tissue will bleed spontaneously or in response to brushing or flossing. The primary cause of simple gingivitis is a local factor such as plaque, calculus (tartar), poor restorations, food impaction, and dental decay.

  Symptoms of Simple Gingivitis  

1. Gum tissue appears red and slightly swollen.
2. Gums may bleed easily when brushing or flossing.
3. There is no systemic manifestation such as lymph node involvement, malaise or fever.
4. There is no current medication such as Dilantin being taken.
5. In women there is no current pregnancy with associated hormonal changes.
6. There is no sloughing of the outer layer of tissue.

As with all dental emergencies a dentist should be consulted immediately so that a differential diagnosis can be made between simple gingivitis and other more complicated forms.

Temporary Treatments for Sore Inflamed Gums

Definitive treatments of gingivitis can only be accomplished after a diagnosis is made by a dentist. However, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the effect of simple gingivitis.

1. Remove as much of the local irritants as possible by brushing more thoroughly. This is best accomplished using a soft toothbrush in a circular or downward stroke placing the bristle under the the tissue and stroking away from the gums.

2. Flossing is essential for removing the irritants between the teeth. Most people with gingivitis find that the tissue will bleed a little, this is normal.

3. Dentist commonly use several treatment entities in the treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis. Chlorhexidene (among others) to help reduce the inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can be used as a home remedy to reduce inflammation and bleeding. When mixed into a thick paste and gently placed under the tissue, many people find that it helps reduce bleeding. Discontinue if tissue becomes irritated. Consult with a dentist immediately for an exam and cleaning.