Q1. What is gingivitis?
- Gingivitis is inflammation of gingival tissues.
- Gingivitis is restricted to the gingiva.
- Gingiva becomes red and swollen, and bleeds easily.
- It is rarely painful and with correct, treatment, is reversible.
- Gingivitis develops because of the presence of an undisturbed bacterial bio-film, known as plaque in the gingival crevices and adjacent to the gingival margins.
- The gingival inflammation caused by this bio-film is a nonspecific inflammatory response to the diffusion of bacterial antigenic product into the adjacent gingival tissues.
Q2. What is the management of gingivitis?
- Gingivitis should be managed by a dentist.
- The objective of the treatment is to remove the plaque by meticulous dental cleaning and smooth any roughness on the teeth that allows plaque to accumulate; for example, removal of the calculus.
- This should be combined with patient education about oral hygiene.
- Calculus deposits are removed by dental scaling. Complete resolution of the inflammation can be expected within one week.
When inflammation restricts normal brushing, the short-term use of mouthwash to inhibit supra-gingival plaque formation may be used. The following medicines can be prescribed:
- Chlorhexidine 0.2 % mouthwash 10 ml rinsed in mouth for 1 minute 8 to 12 hourly for 5 to 10 days.
- Chlorhexidine 0.12 % mouthwash 15 ml rinsed in mouth for 1 minute 8 to 12 hourly for 5 to 10 days.
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Article written by Dr. Ajai Singh
Ref: Therapeutic guidelines 2008