Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, which attacks the gums and weakens them. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. According to the center for disease control and prevention, approximately 47% of adults aged 30 years old and older are suffering from some form of gum disease. We are going to discuss what bacteria cause gingivitis and how these bacteria can affect your health.
How Do Gingivitis & Periodontitis Occur?
Let us first know how gum disease occurs. Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Plaque bacteria feed on food particles and produce acid during the process. This acid irritates the gums, causing them to become red and swollen. When you consume foods that contain sugar, it promotes the growth of bacteria that cause gingivitis. Learn more about the beginning stages of gingivitis.
If gingivitis is left untreated, bacteria will spread to the tooth-supporting tissues and cause what is known as periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. It affects the gums and bones that support your teeth. Once periodontitis occurs, it can cause tooth loss.
Causes & Risk Factors for Gum Disease
The following factors allow plaque buildup, the growth of bacteria, and increase the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Poor oral hygiene allow the plaque buildup on teeth and gums.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco products increases the risk of gum disease. Also, you can get dark gums from smoking.
- Dry mouth condition.
- Eating a lot of sugary foods
- Poor diet and vitamin deficiencies.
- Medication that causes dry mouth as a side effect.
- Medical conditions and diseases that weaken your immune systems such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV.
- People with a family history of periodontitis are at a higher risk of getting the disease.
What Bacteria Cause Gingivitis & Periodontitis?
Anaerobic bacteria are responsible for gingivitis & periodontitis. These bacteria live and grow in places with no oxygen. Among these anaerobic bacteria,
- Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans
- Porphyromonas gingivalis
- Prevotella intermedia
- Bacteroides forsythus
- Campylobacter rectus
- Eubacterium nodatum
- Peptostreptococcus micros
- Streptococcus intermedius
- Treponema denticola
Bacteria That Cause Gingivitis Can Impact Your Overall Health
Bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis can travel through your bloodstream and reach other parts of your body such as your heart, lungs, and brain. Research shows that these bacteria can increase your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Researchers also found that gum disease makes it difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, which can cause diabetic complications. In pregnant women, gingivitis bacteria can also increase the risk of delivering babies prematurely and the low birth weight of the baby. Learn more about how bad is gingivitis on oral health and general health.
What Bacteria Cause Gingivitis – Conclusion
Gingivitis is a bacterial infection that can have serious health consequences if left untreated. What bacteria cause gingivitis? The bacteria responsible for gingivitis are anaerobic and live in areas without oxygen, such as dental plaque. These bacteria produce acid, which irritates the gums, causing them to become red and swollen. If this condition isn’t treated, it can lead to periodontitis, a severe gum disease affecting the tooth-supporting tissues. Research shows that these bacteria can travel to other parts of the body through your bloodstream and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and many other conditions. Read more about how is gingivitis treated.