Gum inflammation (gingivitis) is one of the most common diseases in the world. Inflammation develops due to bacterial plaque, which constantly forms on your teeth. Therefore, removing the plaque is essential. By using a toothbrush, you can reach three of the tooth’s five surfaces – the outside, the inside and the chewing surface. But the tooth has two more sides, namely, the surfaces between the teeth, where a toothbrush does not reach. To clean between the teeth, you need a particular cleaning device, for example, an interdental brush, a pick or dental floss.
Healthy gums are pale and pink and fit firmly around each tooth. There is no bleeding when you brush or clean between the teeth. If plaque accumulates around the tooth, it causes gum inflammation. Signs can be redness and swelling, and the gums may bleed when you clean your teeth. However, gum inflammation is a reversible disease; with good oral hygiene, it can be cured, and your gums will return to a healthy state.
Without treatment, the gum inflammation can progress into periodontitis (tooth loosening), which affects the supporting bone around the teeth. Periodontitis will cause local inflammation and contribute to systemic low-grade inflammation which is unfavourable from an overall health perspective. Research shows a link between periodontitis and several systemic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Good oral hygiene means much more than a fresh mouth – it is an investment in your overall health and wellbeing.