How Does Gingivitis Develop?
When the starches and sugars in food interact with the bacteria normally found on the teeth, a sticky film called biofilm plaque develops and hardens. If plaque is not removed in a timely manner, it hardens and becomes tartar, which forms beneath the gumline and creates a protective shield for bacteria, causing irritation at the gumline. Professional dental cleaning is required to remove tartar.
The longer that biofilm plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth, causing inflammation. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily, resulting in gingivitis. Tooth decay (dental caries) also may result. If not treated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.