Gingivitis: Symptoms, Preventive Measures, and Treatment
January 19, 2021
Gingivitis is a gum infection at an early stage that causes redness, irritation, and swelling on the gingiva. Gingiva is a part of your gum around the base of the teeth. Gingivitis typically occurs due to bacterial infection. It is considered a mild form of gum disease. Hence, it becomes very important to treat it promptly so it does not lead to severe gum disease.
According to periodontists in Rockport, TX, almost three in four adults have some form of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene leads to the formation of plaque on the teeth which causes gum inflammation which is referred to as Gingivitis condition.
Plaque formation on your teeth
Plaque is a sticky, transparent film composed of bacteria that accumulates on the teeth when the bacteria from sugars and starches in your food interacts with the bacteria generally found in your mouth. You need to remove plaque daily to prevent plaque formation.
Plaque turns into tartar
Plaque that develops and stays on your teeth hardens under your gumline and turns into tartar. Tartar creates a protective shield for bacteria, making removal of plaque more difficult. It also causes irritation along the gumline. You will have to seek professional help for cleaning tartar from your teeth.
If plaque and tartar stay on your teeth for a longer period, they irritate the Gingiva causing gum inflammation. In this condition, your gums swell and bleed easily. If not treated on time, Gingivitis could lead to advanced gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
How to Deal Effectively?
Dentists in Rockport suggest that good oral care habits such as twice-a-day brushing, daily flossing, and regular dental health checkups help prevent or reverse the Gingivitis condition.
Healthy food habits and good health practices also play an important role in keeping your dental health in good shape. Eat protein-rich food and more fruits and vegetables. Practice moderation when it comes to sugar intake and caffeine consumption. Avoid smoking.
Regular dental visits which include seeing a dentist every 6 months eliminates serious dental health risks as it helps diagnose the condition at an early stage. During your regular appointments, your dentist will probe and examine your gums and will look for calculus deposits on your teeth and under the gumline.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
Healthy gums are pale pink and firmly fitted around the teeth. In Gingivitis, bacteria attack your gums showing certain signs and symptoms:
- Inflamed or puffy gums
- Dark or dusky red gums
- Gums bleeding easily when your brush or floss
- Receding gums
- Tender gums that can be painful
- Bad breath (Halitosis)
Treatment for Gingivitis
Gingivitis, in an early stage, can be reversed by regular dental visits and proper at-home dental care. In advanced cases, you may require deep cleaning called teeth scaling and root planing where the teeth are cleaned above and below the gumline to remove the hardened plaque and tartar. In severe cases that have developed into serious periodontitis, you may require surgery. So, the sooner you seek professional help, the better your chances of preventing the progression or reversing the damage.