Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) is mostly caused by plaque that forms near the gingiva.
The time given to the bacteria to settle and attack is important. The plaque that causes gingivitis has a different composition to that which causes tooth decay. This is probably why we often see that some people are more susceptible to develop tooth decay, while others are more susceptible to develop periodontal disease, which depends mainly on the composition of the oral flora (the micro-organisms living in the mouth).
The composition of the plaque that accumulates near the gums will slowly change until it is predominantly made up of bacteria that can cause gingivitis. The parodontium – the gums first – reacts to bacterial infection by becoming inflamed, and one of the consequences is swelling, sensitivity and a tendency to bleed. The natural, direct contact between the gums and the teeth is broken and the sensitive cervical area of the teeth loses its insulation. This makes the tooth sensitive to cold, hot, sweet, salty, brushing, etc., and can lead to even more neglect brushing. It’s a pity, because a thorough cleaning at this time will reduce the inflammation in two or three days. It is a good idea to use a soft toothbrush at this time because it is less irritating to the tooth and gums. The cleaning effect of a soft toothbrush is also reduced, so the brushing time should be increased.