What is gingivitis? Gingivitis refers to an inflammation of the gums. It is most commonly occurs when a film of bacterial plaque accumulates on the teeth. This dental plaque solidifies and transforms into tartar, which attacks the gums. Gingivitis is a very common disease. The risk of contracting gingivitis increases with age. If it is left untreated, it can cause other complications such as periodontitis or a more serious form of gum disease that can result in tooth loss. Symptoms of gingivitis Gingivitis can be identified by gum pains. The gums will be abnormally sensitive and swollen and appear red in colour and even white at an advanced stage. They bleed easily when brushing your teeth or eating. You may also notice abcesses and experience bad breath more often. Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis which is characterised by teeth becoming loose or even falling out. Causes of gingivitis In the majority of cases, gingivitis is the result of poor dental hygiene. In fact, not brushing your teeth, or doing so infrequently, leads to the build-up of dental plaque. Alcohol consumption and smoking also play a role in the outbreak of the condition. Hormonal changes which takes place during pregnancy or menopause as well as other illnesses such as diabetes can increase the risk of contracting gingivitis. Treatment: how can gingivitis be treated? The aim of gingivitis treatment is to fight against the development of the disease. Therefore, it is based on cleaning the entire mouth. The first stage involves restoring a better level of oral hygiene by regularly and effectively brushing your teeth. The process of descaling the teeth can also aid the removal of dental plaque from the affected site. Doctors can also prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash or a special toothpaste to help with curing the disease. In more complicated cases, surgery may necessary.