How to Prevent the Gum Disease Known as Gingivitis
When it comes to your mouth’s health, it’s not only about having straight, white teeth. Having healthy gums is also a huge part of your oral well-being. Even if you are cavity free, it doesn’t always mean your gums are healthy.
One form of gum disease is called Gingivitis. It’s important to take gingivitis seriously as it can lead to much more serious gum issues, like periodontitis and tooth loss, if left untreated.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums, or gingiva. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque accumulates on the teeth. There are typically two types of gingivitis:
- Dental plaque-induced gingival disease: This type of gingivitis can be caused by plaque, systemic factors, medication or malnutrition
- Non-plaque induced gingival lesions: This can be caused by specific bacterium, virus, or fungus. It might also be caused by genetic factors, systemic conditions (including allergic reactions and certain illnesses), wounds, or foreign bodies such as dentures.
When plaque is not removed adequately, it can harden into tartar near the base of the teeth, near the gum. This has a yellowish color and can only be professionally cleaned and removed. This type of plaque and tartar irritates the gums, causing inflammation, which typically leads to the gums bleeding.
How do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is fairly common, and anyone can develop it. Symptoms of Gingivitis include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Wiggly teeth
- Gums that bleed easily
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist. If Gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral issues.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
The number one way to prevent Gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice for at least two minutes a day and flossing at least once a day. Using an electric toothbrush can also help as they are better equipped to remove plaque in hard to reach places.
Visiting your dentist twice a year (every six months) to get a professional cleaning is another great way to prevent gum disease. Dentists and hygienists are able to remove plaque and tartar buildup that toothbrushes don’t always get.
Improving your overall health can also help prevent gingivitis. Improving your diet and managing your blood sugar are great for your gums.
We are here to help you and support you with all of your oral health needs. If you think you could have signs of gingivitis, give one of our offices a call. We are always happy to answer any questions you have and can schedule you for a visit.