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.
Papillary gingivitis: evident by swollen interdental papillae.

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