Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that affects the part of your gum tissue around the base of your teeth. There are usually several symptoms that appear allowing you to seek help from your dentist before your condition can escalate into periodontitis and the possibility of tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Healthy gum tissue is firm and pink in color. Swollen or dark red gums; bleeding gum tissue; chronic bad breath; discomfort; and receding gum tissue … these are the most prominent signals that your gingiva requires treatment.
Gingivitis is easily treatable in its early stages. A thorough cleaning to remove plaque from teeth followed by a consistent daily oral hygiene regimen is usually sufficient to restore gum health. But you can’t do this on your own; this requires a visit to the dentist for proper treatment.
What Causes Gum Disease?
What many people don’t want to hear is that poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of gum disease. A daily regimen that consists of brushing at least twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily coupled with visits to the dentist every six months (or as recommended) for cleaning and dental exam are the basic needs to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
However, there may be other underlying factors that can contribute to the onset of gingivitis. Tobacco use in any form; a poor diet that consists of a lot sugar and carb loaded foods; dry mouth; illnesses and/or the medications needed to treat them; poorly fitting dental restorations or crooked teeth; and finally you can look to your ancestors as a possible contributor to your gum health.
Left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis. If this is allowed to occur, bone and tissue beneath infected teeth are impacted and tooth loss may be imminent.
In addition to tooth loss, research has suggested that the inflammation associated with the bacteria that causes gum disease may enter your bloodstream through your gum tissue. While this research is in its early stages, it is just one more reason to be serious about your gum health.
Gum disease is preventable; brush twice daily (an electric toothbrush is an excellent tool to help support healthy teeth and gums); floss daily to remove what your toothbrush missed; and visit our team at A Smile Above for cleaning and dental exam.