Most people have heard of the term gingivitis, but not everyone knows exactly what it is. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that causes inflammation to the gums, bad breath, and receding gums. When caught in the early stages, it can be reversible. If left untreated, it can lead to other issues, such as a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis and even tooth loss. Here is everything you need to know about gingivitis.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth and around the gum line. Food and drinks you consume throughout the day contribute to plaque buildup. If the plaque isn’t removed, it hardens and turns into tartar, which collects bacteria and irritates the gum line. Once tartar has formed, it is very difficult to remove without having your teeth cleaned by a professional.
Signs of Gingivitis
Signs of gingivitis can sometime be hard to identify, so it is important to pay close attention to your overall oral health. Bleeding gums, inflammation, bad breath, and receding gums are some signs to look for. If you have any of these signs, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist, as they will diagnose you during your exam. The earlier you can identify and treat gingivitis, the better.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
Oral hygiene and staying healthy play a big role in preventing gingivitis. Plaque is removed by brushing and flossing, so having a good regimen is key in achieving a healthy mouth. Brushing twice daily, brushing for at least two minutes, flossing, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year will keep the unwanted plaque away, saving you from gingivitis. Another great way to keep your mouth healthy is to limit food with high sugar or starch contents as they aid in plaque buildup.
If you have any questions about bleeding gums or have pain when you brush your teeth, contact Gentle Dentistry and we can help you determine what your gum needs are!