Bacteria that live on dental surfaces and in periodontal pockets cause gingivitis, which results in bleeding gums, swelling and abscesses. Bacteria destroy the periodontal ligaments that hold the teeth in the alveolar process, as a result of which the teeth loosen in their sockets.
Gingivitis can also worsen other illnesses that the patient may have.
To determine the type of bacteria and suitable antibiotics, a bacterial culture can taken from the periodontal pocket and sent to the laboratory.
The first step of treatment is calculus and plaque removal. Dental surfaces and the exposed necks of teeth can be polished to ensure a smooth surface that prevents bacterial adhesion.
All old fillings and crowns must be examined to ensure that their irregular edges and surfaces do not encourage bacterial growth.
After the removal of calculus and dental plaque, it is important to practise proper oral hygiene: proper teeth brushing and the use of dental floss, interdental brushes and mouthwash.