What is gingivitis? What causes gingivitis?

The following is an article from medicalnewstoday.com. It has some very helpful information about Gingivitis, it’s causes, diagnosis and treatment. 

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva). It commonly occurs because of films of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth – plaque; this type is called plaque-induced gingivitisGingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth. Generally, gingivitis resolves with good oral hygiene – longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing. Some people find that using an antiseptic mouthwash, alongside proper tooth brushing and flossing also helps.

In mild cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, the condition should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.

Gingivitis before and after-2
(Top) Severe gingivitis before treatment.
(Bottom) After mechanical debridement of teeth and surrounding gum tissues

There are two main categories of gingival diseases (1999 World Workshop in Clinical Periodontics):

  • Dental plaque-induced gingival disease
    Gingivitis caused only by plaque
    Gingivitis caused by systemic factors
    Gingivitis caused by medications
    Gingivitis caused by malnutrition
  • Non-plaque induced gingival lesions
    Gingival diseases – caused by a specific bacterium
    Gingival diseases – caused by a specific virus
    Gingival diseases – caused by a specific fungus
    Gingival diseases – caused by genetic factors
    Gum inflammations caused by systemic conditions
    Gum inflammations caused by traumatic lesions
    Gum inflammations caused by reactions to foreign bodies
    Gum inflammations without known causes

What are the signs and symptoms of gingivitis?

A symptom is something the patient feels and describes, such as painful gums, while a sign is something everybody, including the doctor or nurse can see, such as swelling.

In mild cases of gingivitis there may be no discomfort or noticeable symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of gingivitis may include:

  • Gums are bright red or purple
  • Gums are tender, and sometimes painful to the touch
  • Gums bleed easily when brushing teeth or flossing
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Inflammation (swollen gums)
  • Receding gums
  • Soft gums

What are the causes of gingivitis?

The accumulation of plaque and tartar

The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth, which triggers an immune response, which in turn can eventually lead to the destruction of gingival tissue, and eventually further complications, including the loss of teeth.

Dental plaque is a biofilm that accumulates naturally on the teeth. It is usually formed by colonizing bacteria that are trying to stick to the smooth surface of a tooth. Some experts say that they might help protect the mouth from the colonization of harmful microorganisms. However, dental plaque can also cause tooth decay, and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis.

When plaque is not removed adequately, it causes an accumulation of calculus (tartar – it has a yellow color) at the base of the teeth, near the gums. Calculus is harder to remove, and can only be removed professionally.

Plaque and tartar eventually irritate the gums.

Gingivitis may also have other causes, including:

  • Changes in hormones – which may occur during pubertymenopause, the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The gingiva may become more sensitive, raising the risk of inflammation.
  • Some diseases – such as cancerdiabetes, and HIV are linked to a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
  • Drugs – oral health may be affected by some medications, especially if saliva flow is reduced. Dilantin (anticonvulsant), and some anti-angina medications may also cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Smoking – regular smokers more commonly develop gingivitis compared to non-smokers.
  • Family history – experts say that people whose parent(s) has/had gingivitis, have a higher risk of developing it themselves.

Diagnosing gingivitis

A dentist or oral hygienist checks for gingivitis symptoms, such as plaque and tartar in the oral cavity.

Checking for signs of periodontitis may also be recommended; this may be done by X-ray or periodontal probing.

What are the treatment options for gingivitis?

If the patient is diagnosed early on, and treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed.

Treatment involves care by a dental professional, and follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home.

Gingivitis care with a dental professional:

  • Plaque and tartar are removed. This is known as scaling. Some patients may find scaling uncomfortable, especially if tartar build-up is extensive, or the gums are very sensitive.
  • The dental professional explains to the patient the importance of oral hygiene, and how to effectively brush his/her teeth, as well as flossing
  • Periodically following-up on the patient, with further cleaning if necessary
  • Fixing teeth so that oral hygiene can be done effectively. Some dental problems, such as crooked teeth, badly fitted crowns or bridges, may make it harder to properly remove plaque and tartar (they may also irritate the gums).

What the patient can do at home:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Bear in mind that in most cases, electric toothbrushes do a better job than we can do on our own
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day
  • Regularly rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. Ask your dentist to recommend one.

What are the possible complications from gingivitis?

In the vast majority of cases, if gingivitis is treated and the patient follows the dental health professional’s instructions, there are no complications. However, if the condition is left untreated, gum disease can spread and affect tissue, teeth and bones, leading to periodontitis.

Father and Son Dedicated To Dentistry

Here is a recent article in UAB Dentristry magazine featuring Dr. Isbell and his son Ross Isbell:b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_6663
Gordon Isbell III, D.M.D., opened his dental practice in his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama, in 1981- the same year he graduated from the UAB School of Dentristry. His son, Gordon “Ross” Isbell IV, is currently enrolled at the UABSOD. But regardless of graduation dates, neither Isbell will have finished with learning about dentistry. In fact, continuing education has been a way of life for the elder Isbell- and his son plans to follow his footsteps. 
“The only way to practice with excellence is to continue learning” Isbell III says. “Dentistry is evolving so rapidly that it’s easy to get left behind. Our patients deserve dentists who are on the cutting edge.” Isbell was instrumental in launching the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) Master’s Track program at UAB. This is a five-year continuing-education program that meets five times a year and features a 10-person roundtable. Isbell was a member of the first class in 1989 and says it was “the highlight of my continuing-education career. It was so hands-on, and there are great dentists in every class.”
Isbell also has served in various national leadership positions with the AGD and the American Dental Association. He finds it especially gratifying that today’s students, such as his son, are being encouraged from the very beginning of their careers as dentists to stay involved with learning through continuing-education classes. Last year, he was heartened to see that 40 SOD students spent their spring break attending a professional development meeting on their own dime. 
Ross Isbell also is following in his father’s footsteps in another way- taking leadership roles in dental organizations. He’s slated to be the next president of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). “My involvement in the ASDA has been very helpful, particularly in gaining experience in balancing work (which is currently school) and extracurricular activities within dentistry,” Isbell IV says. “Also, it has given me the opportunity to attend many different organized dentistry meetings, which augments my current curriculum with continuing-education courses on special topics and allows me to interact with and learn from dentists at the top of the profession. And it has given me a fresh perspective on the size and scope of the larger dental world as well as a desire to stay involved to help protect my future profession.”
Isbell III points out that while his son “could have gone to other dental schools around the country,” he chose to come to UAB. “I’m very proud the SOD is a school that top students continue to choose,” he says. “When I speak at dentistry events across the country, people know our school is excellent. Every year, the SOD is ranked first, second, or third in the country. We have a tremendous school and faculty. Our graduates have a great foundation.”
Never Stop Learning Building- on that foundation with ongoing professional education is essential to furthering one’s career, Isbell III says. By doing so himself, he has been able to continue practicing cutting-edge dentistry for more than 30 years. “Continuing education has been my life because years ago Dr. Scotty McCallum told me that I should make it a priority,” he says. “Continuing education is the core of practice excellence in dentistry.”
His father’s ongoing involvement with the SOD helped Isbell IV make his decision to enroll at UAB after graduation from Washington and Lee University. “I felt familiar with the SOD campus and the alumni community supporting it, and I wanted to come home to be a part of it,” he says. “Our plan to eventually practice together is a neat father-son thing in dentistry that’s quite unique,” Isbell III says. “And I’m proud we have a great dental school right here in Alabama.”

‘Turtle Travels’ exhibit opens May 24 at Center for Cultural Arts

‘Turtle Travels’ exhibit opens May 24 at Center for Cultural Arts

Isbell Dental is proud to be a part of sponsoring the new ‘Turtle Travels’ exhibit at The Cultural Arts Center in Gadsden. It’s fun for the whole family so stop in and see what they have going on! Here is what The Messenger had to say about the new display:

Turtles are on display at the Imagination Place.b2ap3_thumbnail_Turtles1_20130528-173855_1

Imagination Place in the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts is excited to open a brand new 3,000 square foot expansion with Turtle Travels, an interactive children’s exhibit that will allow visitors to experience “life in the slow lane.”

Children will follow turtle footprints on a life-size board game to find out firsthand what it’s like to be a turtle facing challenges from habitat fragmentation, “subsidized predators,” and the international pet trade.

Visitors will watch Crittercam video footage from a swimming loggerhead sea turtle, explore turtle anatomy, get nose-to-beak with turtles in the crawl-under aquatic tank, and learn to be a turtle tracker. Exhibit admission includes all-day access to Turtle Travels, KidsTown USA in Imagination Place Children’s Museum, and the Hardin Center’s art exhibits. The Center invites everyone to come out of their shells and enjoy spending time with the turtles. Visitors can even pose with a turtle shell on their back for photographs.

Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children. Admission is free for center members. Turtle Travels is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 2, will be open on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The expansion at Imagination Place gives not only more room for exhibits such as Turtle Travels, it provides two new birthday party rooms, giving more space for special parties for children.

For more information about exhibits at the Mary G. Hardin Center for the Cultural Arts, or becoming a member of the center, call 256-543-2787 or visit www.culturalarts.org.

UAB student Ross Isbell recognized by dental association

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry student Ross Isbell, president of the UAB chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), has been recognized by the association for his involvement at the UAB-chapter, district and national levels, as ASDA Ross Isbell and Dr. Gordon IsbellDelegate of the Year for District 5. Isbell, who sits on the American Dental Political Action CommitteeBoard as the student liaison for national ASDA, was presented the award at the ASDA Annual Session 2013, held March 6-9 in Atlanta.

In all, 14 UAB ASDA officers traveled to Atlanta for the meeting and participated in continuing education courses, district caucus meetings and networking opportunities with hundreds of dental students from around the country, as well as voting sessions for the new Executive Committee and ASDA policy resolutions and amendments.

The ASDA is a national student-run organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students. It introduces students to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy.

Business After Hours

What a great evening we had on April 9th at Business After Hours! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to our office. It was a wonderful night of great music, great food and great friends. We had music provided by Rick and Tad and food provided by Wolf Pack BBQ. There were also lots of great prizes given away. It is always a pleasure having new friends visit our office to see all that we have to offer our patients. We have some very exciting things in store for 2013 so keep checking back to see what we have going on here at the practice. A very special thanks to Heather New and the staff at The Gadsden Chamber for letting us host this months event. Here are a few pictures from the night:


Call Now Button