Bacteria in dental plaque is the number-one cause of gingivitis. Regular tooth brushing and flossing can help to remove plaque and keep it from building up on the teeth and gums.
3 main causes of Gingivitis
There are other causes of gingivitis as well. Even if you brush and floss daily, keep these factors in mind when thinking about your oral health:
- Medication: Many prescription and over-the-counter medications come with the side effect of reducing the amount of saliva that naturally occurs in your mouth. Saliva helps keep your teeth clean by controlling the growth of bacteria. That means that the less saliva you have, the greater your risk for gingivitis. Many common medications including antidepressants and cold medications can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, so check the list of side effects of your medications, and pay special attention to your gums if dry mouth is listed as a side effect.
- Infection: Certain types of viral infections or fungal infections can cause gum disease. One example is oral thrush, which occurs when a type of fungus that occurs normally in the mouth gets out of control and forms lesions that can infect the tongue and gums. Also, an infection caused by the herpes virus can cause gum disease.
- Nutrition: If you follow a diet that is severely lacking in calcium and vitamins B and C, you may be at increased risk for gum disease.