Gingivitis is a serious dental health concern that often takes people by surprise. While the earliest stage of gingivitis is easily reversible and treatable, if it is left without intervention, it will turn into periodontal disease that has lasting, negative effects on your entire smile.
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues supporting the teeth. It includes the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets. Periodontal disease leads to tooth loss, bone denigration, and other severe oral health consequences. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, and it should never be ignored.
Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup. Plaque develops on the teeth each day due to the foods that you eat mixing with the natural bacteria within your mouth. If plaque is not removed on a daily basis by flossing and brushing, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar that becomes trapped at the base of the tooth. Because plaque and tartar are made up of bacteria, they irritate and inflame the gums, causing the gums to become tender, swollen, and infected.
Symptoms of gingivitis include the following:
- Gums that are tender and swollen
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing
- Bright red gums
- Mouth sores
- A shiny appearance to the gum tissues
When gingivitis is caught early on, your dentist can help you reverse the effects. Your dentist will use a probe to closely examine your gums, and if it is determined that your gums are infected, treatment can begin right away. The first step is having your teeth thoroughly cleaned. Your dentist or dental hygienist will use different tools to loosen and remove deposits of plaque and tartar from your teeth. Most of the time, a thorough cleaning is enough to reverse gingivitis. With proper oral hygiene, your teeth can stay clean and healthy. Proper oral hygiene includes flossing every single day – this step must never be skipped!
If you are worried that you may have gingivitis, contact Dr. Wayne G. Suway in Vinings today to schedule an appointment. Your oral health is our highest priority.
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
Atlanta, GA 30339