The Human Immune Response Against Gingivitis

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What is Gingivitis? Gingivitis is a mild reversible periodontal disease that results in inflammation of the gum tissue. If not treated it can lead to irreversible damage of the associated ligaments and bone that support the teeth, leading to a more serious condition known as periodontitis (Arndt and Nagelberg, 2010). In most cases of gingivitis, bacteria normally found in the mouth ingest and convert carbohydrates into acid. The combination of bacteria, acid, food, and saliva form what is known as plaque (Wood, 2006). If plaque is not removed, it hardens and becomes calculus, which is usually found built up around the base of the tooth. The bacteria found in plaque also contribute to the inflammatory response by releasing toxins that cause gums to become swollen and tender. "Gingivitis manifests as color change (redness), edema (swelling of the tissues), exudate (drainage of the gingival fluid from the sulcus), and a tendency to bleed readily (hemorrhage in response to gentle periodontal probing or tooth brushing)" (Essex and Perry, 2014). There are two types of gingivitis, dental plaque induced and non plaque induced. Of the two, plaque induced gingivitis is far more common and is also the most common periodontal disease. Gingivitis associated with dental plaque biofilm results from inflammation caused by the body's response to bacterial plaque (Essex and Perry, 2014). What Causes Gingivitis? Plaque induced Gingivitis There are many factors that may contribute to the development of plaque-associated gingivitis. Local factors include "dental restorations, appliances, root fractures, and tooth anatomy" (Nield-Gehrig and Willmann, 2011). These factors act as sites for bacterial plaque retention and accumulation, which cont... ... middle of paper ... ...terdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. Gamonal, J., Silva, N., Hernández, M., Dutzan, N., Garcia-Sesnich, J., Abusleme, L., Dezerega, A., & Vernal, R. 2011. Components of host responses to pathogenic bacteria in gingivitis. Gingival Diseases - Their Aetiology, Prevention and Treatment, p. 73-86. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech. Meschiari, C. A., Marcaccini, A. M., Moura, B. C. S., Zuuardi, L. R., Tanus-Santos, J. E., & Gerlack, R. F. 2013. Salivary MMPs, TIMPs, and MPO levels in periodontal disease patients and controls. Clinica Chimica Acta, 421, 140-146. Nield-Gehrig, J. S., & Willmann, D. E. 2011. Host immune response to periodontal pathogens. Foundations of Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist, p. 158-168. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Wood, N., 2006, September. Oral Health- How to Reduce Risks of Periodontitis. Positive Health, p. 30-35.

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