Gingivitis affects millions of Americans. The American Dental Association estimated in 2000 that approximately 50% of the U.S. population had gingivitis on at least six teeth and that 25%-100% of pregnant women experience gingivitis during pregnancy.

Gingivitis can be a more profound threat to pets, because oral care is not seen as much of a priority for pets as it is in humans. In fact, The American Veterinary Dental Society says up to 85% of dogs and 70% of cats develop periodontal disease by age 3. Gingivitis is considered Periodontal Disease Stage 1 in canines and felines.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. The human mouth is full of harmful bacteria which, along with mucus and other particles, continually form a sticky colorless plaque on teeth. The longer plaque and tartar remain on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which can be a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Early stages of gingivitis are reversible with thorough brushing, flossing and professional cleanings. Gingivitis can lead to chronic infections and severe periodontitis. More…