What are the causes of gingivitis?
Gingivitis always starts off with a build up of plaque – an invisible, sticky film made up mostly of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in our mouths, plaque can form on our teeth. Brushing our teeth twice a day and flossing once a day removes plaque. Plaque can re-form very quickly – within 24 hours of brushing your teeth. Plaque that remains in our mouths for longer than two or three days goes hard under the gum line, and forms tartar (calculus). Tartar makes plaque much harder to brush away and acts as an environment in which bacteria can thrive. It is not usually possible to remove tartar by just brushing or flossing. It can only be effectively removed by a dentist or dental hygienist using a technique called scaling, scale, or polish – the tartar is scraped away using a special instrument. If there are any marks or stains the teeth are then polished. If the plaque and tartar remain in the teeth, the gingiva (the gum) will become more i