The gum disease gingivitis must be reversed in order to prevent it from advancing into periodontitis, a severe gum disease that leads to tooth loss. Treatments for gingivitis are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply.
Once periodontitis is present, treatments can become much more expensive. If started too late, tooth loss may be impossible to avoid.
Gingivitis is a common problem. Having regular dental checkups is the best defense. It is also important to know the symptoms of gingivitis. When they are present, you must start treatment right away.
Medical News Today explains that healthy gums are firm and pale pink in color. Healthy gums also fit tightly around the teeth. If your gums are soft, discolored, or if any teeth appear to be loose, you could be on the road to losing your teeth. Consult with your dentist right away.
Common gingivitis symptoms people should be on the lookout for include the following:
- Swollen gums
- Puffy gums
- Dusky red or dark red gums
- Gum bleeding, particularly while brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Tender gums
If you have any of these symptoms, consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Causes of Gingivitis
The number one cause of gingivitis is poor dental hygiene. Thankfully, most gingivitis can be reversed with professional dental cleaning and a change in dental hygiene habits. To understand why dental hygiene is so important, it is fundamental to understand that gingivitis is caused by tooth plaque.
Tooth plaque is an invisible film composed of bacteria that forms on tooth surfaces. It is created by the interaction of foods with the bacteria normally present in the human mouth. Plaque should always be removed on a daily basis by brushing and flossing.
Plaque that remains on teeth hardens under the gum lines. Over time, plaque turns to tartar. Tartar collects plaque, making the problem worse. Tartar also protects plaque, making brushing and flossing less effective. Tartar irritates gums, causing some of gingivitis’s symptoms. Removing tartar requires a professional dental cleaning.
Gingiva is the part of the gums around the base of the teeth. As tartar builds, the gingiva becomes increasingly irritated. If the irritation receives no treatment, the gums become inflamed, discolored, and bleed easily. These symptoms indicate advanced gingivitis with a high risk of becoming periodontitis.
Teeth should be professionally cleaned every six months to prevent tartar buildup. During a cleaning at places like Howard Family Dental, all tartar is removed and teeth are polished. The polish makes it more difficult for plaque to build on the tooth surface.
A dentist also performs an exam at the time teeth are professionally cleaned. This is crucial because the dentist can check for gingivitis and any other oral health issues. Regular exams have saved teeth for countless individuals.
In addition to visiting the dentist, it is crucial to brush and floss daily. Also, the chances of developing gingivitis can be reduced by abstaining from cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Eating a healthy diet and preventing dry mouth also help keep away gingivitis.
Other Complications from Gingivitis
Gingivitis causes more damage than lost teeth. Because the bacteria in tartar can enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums, gingivitis can create other internal health problems. These include respiratory diseases, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Keeping your teeth clean is critical for maintaining excellent general health.
In the age of modern dentistry, tooth-cleaning products, and fluoride, people stand to keep their teeth for a long time. Good dental hygiene habits and regular checkups are the keys. If the symptoms of gingivitis appear, call your dentist right away.