The word “gingivitis” is regularly used in the media, so much so that many people do not take the condition seriously. Local dentists want their patients to learn about gingivitis, so if they experience symptoms, they won’t be ignored. Below are several questions and answers about gingivitis.
What Is It, and What Causes It?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums or the earliest sign of gum disease. In most cases, it’s caused by bacterial overgrowth and infection. It’s caused by dental plaque, which is a colorless film that’s always forming on the teeth and producing toxins that irritate sensitive gum tissues.
Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis
When a patient has mild gingivitis, they may not have any symptoms. However, common signs include:
- Magenta, dark pink, red, or swollen gums
- Tender gums that hurt to touch
- Bleeding during flossing or brushing
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Soft gums
How Can Gingivitis Be Prevented?
Patients can take several simple steps to prevent the condition. The first and most important step is to visit a dentist twice per year for a checkup and a cleaning. During the appointment, the dentist will examine the patient’s mouth and remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gum line. Tartar is only removable with professional dental care, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to visit the dentist regularly. Another suggestion is to practice proper oral hygiene. At the least, this means flossing daily and brushing twice per day. Finally, try to limit the consumption of acidic and sweet foods.
How is the Condition Treated?
In its earliest stages, gingivitis can be treated with good at-home care and routine dental treatment. However, in advanced cases, it may require root planing and scaling, which is a more invasive procedure. Severe gingivitis may even need surgery, although dentists try to use the least invasive method necessary.
What Can Happen When Gingivitis Isn’t Treated?
The condition is reversible, but if it goes untreated, it can cause periodontal disease and irreversible damage. This condition causes damage to the gums and the jawbone, and it can also cause other health conditions such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
As shown here, there are many reasons to schedule routine dental visits. Call Murphy Dentistry in Batavia to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup.