Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that studies supporting structures of teeth, as well as diseases and conditions that affect them. Tooth support structures includes cement covering the tooth root, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingiva. Bacteria present in dental plaque and tartar lead to initial (gingivitis) and advanced (periodontitis) stage of the inflammation of the tooth support device.


Gingivitis and periodontitis

Gingivitis is the initial stage of inflammation of the supporting tooth tissue, and most importantly, this is the stage most easily treated. The main factor in the occurrence of gingivitis is dental plaque, a soft, colorless and sticky cluster of bacteria that is constantly formed on the gums and teeth.

If you do not remove plaque regularly by brushing your teeth, using dental floss or interdental brushes, it can lead to gingivitis. At this stage, since bone and ligaments that fix the tooth are not yet affected, the damage that occurs is still not irreversible. However, if gingivitis is not treated on time, there can be development of periodontitis (when inflammation spreads to the bone and ligament of the tooth) which results in permanent and irreversible damage to your teeth.

How do I know I have gingivitis?

Typical symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen and soft gingiva (gums) that usually bleeds when teeth are brushed. A sign also indicating the inflammation of the gums is both withdrawn or the gums removed from the tooth which causes the tooth to have an elongated appearance. Although gingivitis is the initial stage of a periodontal disease, it may be accompanied by unpleasant odors due to the accumulation of plaque and residues of food.

Causes of gingivitis

The main cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that allows the formation of plaque. Plaque that is on the tooth surface for more than a few days hardens and forms tartar. Tartar is a solid protection for bacteria that cannot be removed by a toothbrush. The longer the plaque and the tartar are on the surface of the teeth, the longer this irritates the gums, leading to inflammation, swelling and tendency of bleeding gums.

Gingivitis is a very common disease that can develop in everyone. Some of the risk factors that may increase the chance of gingivitis are:

  • Poor oral hygiene

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Age

  • Impaired immunity

  • Dry mouth

  • Hormonal changes (eg associated with pregnancy, menstrual cycles or oral contraceptives)

  • Inadequate diet

  • Poorly made fillings

Gingivitis therapy

Since gingivitis is a reversible initial period of periodontal disease, this means that adequate timely therapy can restore gingivitis state to the initial healthy state. Successful gingivitis treatment requires professional dental care followed by good maintenance of oral hygiene at home.

Professional dental care includes:

  • Initial assessment of the state of the gums

  • Thorough manual and machine cleaning of plaque and tartar

  • Instructions for proper maintenance of oral hygiene

  • Regular checkups and cleaning of plaque and tartar

  • Replacement of fillings that make it difficult to use floss and facilitate plaque accumulation

Home care instructions for oral hygiene include the following:

  • Brushing teeth at least twice a day. Instructions on the choice and the way to use a toothbrush.

  • Using dental floss at least once a day

  • Using recommended antiseptic mouthwash solution according to the dentist's instructions

The cleaning of dental plaque and tarter is done manually and by machine by the dentist. The procedure is basically not painful and a slight discomfort may be felt especially if the gums become very sensitive and if larger amounts of deposits are present. Once the tartar is removed, it is necessary to polish the surface of the teeth to slow down the return of deposits.

By following the instructions given by your dentist and maintaining proper oral hygiene at home, after a few days or weeks you will notice that your gums are again pink and healthy.


Here are a few steps you should follow to prevent gingivitis:

  • Regularly go to checkups and cleaning plaque (every 6 to 12 months, and more often if recommended by your dentist)

  • Use a soft toothbrush and change it at least every 3 months

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and in the evening

  • Use dental floss every day

  • Use an antiseptic mouth wash according to the dentist's instructions

  • Use inter-dental brushes