What is gingivitis? Simply put, gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue caused by an unchecked bacterial biofilm. It's also referred to as gum disease. The good news is that this tender, red and swollen condition of the gum tissue is reversible, if treated effectively and early.
See my article: What Really Causes Decay
GINGIVITIS CAN BE REVERSIBLE; PERIODONTAL DISEASE: NOT SO MUCH!
If gingivitis is ignored, it can lead to periodontal disease, which is a more serious condition and is not reversible because it causes bone and gum tissue loss.
Periodontal Disease Can Lead to These Oral Health Concerns
- Chronically infected gums
- Tooth loss
- Elevation of your chronic inflammatory bio-markers
This is the beginning of cardiovascular and chronic degenerative disease formation caused by the elevation of your systemic inflammatory biomarkers, and it is really bad news!
Antioxidants Fight Off Gum Disease Like Gingivitis
People with severe gum disease have been found to have low levels of antioxidant chemicals that may offer natural protection. Other studies have shown that periodontal disease appears to be a genuine threat to general health. It is not only the prime cause of tooth loosening, but has been linked to both the onset of diabetes, and the worsening of lung disease.
~BBC News World Edition; November 26, 2002
Recent studies have even pointed to gum disease is a potential threat to unborn children. At the University of Birmingham school of dentistry they have perhaps found a clue. They closely analyzed the type of saliva called gingival crevicular fluid.
It was found that this key salivary component had a much higher level of an antioxidant called glutathione in patients who have healthy gums. Dr. Simon Evans, a nutritional lecturer at Nottingham University, told BBC that if you have periodontal disease the first thing you should do is stop smoking. Cigarette smoke destroys antioxidants.
Glutathione is a key antioxidant that could be a predictor for periodontal disease. Think of it this way: your gum tissue hugs the tooth like a turtleneck sweater hugs your neck. If the hygienist can probe more than 3mm past the top of the gum margin, then, "Houston, we have a problem!"
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