- February 26, 2018
You’ve probably have heard of gingivitis and maybe your dentist has told you that you have gingivitis. While gingivitis is a common, low-grade form of gum disease, it is important that it is treated. Gingivitis that isn’t treated can worsen into the moderate to severe case of gum disease called periodontitis. In the later stages of periodontistis, patients can possibly lose teeth and reduce the strength of their jawbone.
This serious form of gum disease often starts with gingivitis.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the swelling, inflammation and reddening of the gum tissue located at the base of the teeth. Gingivitis can make at-home oral hygiene difficult and unpleasant. It can also make consuming certain foods and beverages uncomfortable.
How do you know if you have gingivitis?
There are visible and felt symptoms of gingivitis.
While normal, healthy gums have a light pink color, are firm and fit snugly around the teeth, diseased gums have the following characteristics and symptoms:
- Gums that are swollen or puffy
- Dark red or dusky red colored gums
- Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Gums that are receding away from the teeth
- Gums that are tender and sensitive
It is important to schedule an appointment with us at Historic Triangle Dental Care as soon as you notice any of these gingivitis symptoms. The sooner your gums are examined and treated, the better the chance that the gingivitis can be reversed.
How Gingivitis is Reversed
When it comes to reversing gingivitis, it goes back to the most common cause of gum disease: poor oral hygiene. Inadequate at-home teeth brushing and flossing, poor eating habits and smoking are the biggest risk factors for gingivitis.
Regular dental office visits every six months is also an important component of a great oral hygiene routine. We encourage patients of all ages to have their teeth and gums examined and cleaned by our dental professionals to ensure that any gingivitis can be quickly and appropriately treated and reversed.
How is Gingivitis Prevented
As gingivitis is one of the most common dental health issues experienced by both children and adults, it is likely that you’ll have gingivitis at some point.
This often results in a lax or inconsistent at-home oral hygiene routine. When one doesn’t brush his or her teeth twice a day and floss between each tooth, plaque can build-up along the gumline of teeth, called pockets. Plaque is a clear film that contains germs and bacteria that can deteriorate the enamel of teeth and harden into tartar. The hard tartar is difficult to remove through brushing and flossing and requires professional treatment. It is this hardened tartar that infects and causes irritation, swelling and sensitivity of the gums that characterize gingivitis.
The best way to prevent gingivitis is to take care of one’s oral health through proper teeth cleaning, flossing and regular visits to the dentist office. A diet low in sugar, caffeine and simple carbohydrates can also cut down on the development of plaque build-up when accompanied by an adequate oral hygiene routine.
Unlike the later stages of gum disease, gingivitis can be easily treated, revered and prevented with proper, daily oral hygiene.
If you notice your gums feeling sore or swollen or if they are red and bleed easily, contact us today to schedule an appointment with us. Even if your gums look and feel fine, but it’s been more than six months since your last dental check-up with us, it is also a good idea to schedule an appointment.