Gums are as much as important as your teeth and even though you think they are there just for an aesthetic reason, you are totally wrong.
Few people know anything about the gums and usually they notice something is wrong when they get a swelling, gum recession, or bleeding. Most of the patients do not pay their gums the attention needed and this is why on a long term, problems can get serious.
The first and one of the most important advantages gums have, is to continuously provide antibacterial factors through a fluid which can be found between the tooth and gum below the gum line. This means that your gums are a constant fighter against bacteria which has advanced methods to get underneath.
When your dentist suggests a scale and polish also known as hygiene, make sure he cleans the calculus which forms inside the gums, which is dangerous for your oral health.
Brushing correctly and using all adjuvant methods such as floss, mouthwash and oral irrigator you can protect your teeth by protecting your gums.
Therefore, a good blood flow in your gums, a strong immunitary system and a correct brushing technique which makes a slight gum massage can keep your teeth healthy and protected.
Gingivitis is the first stage of a more advanced problem called Periodontitis which makes your teeth mobile due to bone resorption which is also accompanied by gum recession.
Gingivitis is basically a local inflammation which can come and go or sometimes persist for years. Gums bleed but there is no particular pain although sometimes the area can become itchy. Check for any calculus and always see your dentist twice a year for check ups to prevent it.
If the cause is not plaque or calculus, Gingivitis can have many other causes which are related to a general problem : menopause, pregnancy, medication ( usually heart related ) , diabetes, vitamin C deficiency, contraceptive pills, etc. Always check your gums for any swellings or bleeding and report the problem to your dentist.
Usually in women, gum related problems are mainly due to hormonal changes, but lack of hygiene combined with smoking and alcohol can also be incriminated. Gum recession due to increased force in brushing and a bad brushing technique is a trauma caused by the bristles so it has nothing to do with periodontitis.
Stress, smoking or drinking usually combined might lead to periodontitis without even causing gingivitis so it is indicated to have a full panoramic X Ray once every 3 or 4 years if you have been diagnosed with gum disease.