Gingivitis. Everyone sees the posters at their dentist office, but does anyone know what is really is or how to combat the signs of it?
Gingivitis is just another word for inflammation of the gums, which are known as gingiva. It usually happens due to films of bacteria, or plaque, that grow on the teeth without proper cleaning. This type of gingivitis is known as plaque-induced.
If left untreated, gingivitis can eventually turn into periodontitis, a much more serious disease that can lead to loss of teeth. Gingivitis symptoms include red and puffy gums that bleed when someone brushes their teeth. It can usually be resolved by improving oral hygiene, like more frequent brushing and flossing. Using mouthwash has also been known to help as well.
Gingivitis usually sneaks up on someone because they usually just think that they have sensitive gums. The mild symptoms will turn more severe if not treated properly and thus need to be taken seriously and addressed by a dentist immediately.
Other symptoms can include a bright red or purple gum color, tenderness and inflammation, bleeding, halitosis or bad breath, or receding or soft gums.
Gingivitis is manageable and even reversible if it is caught in time and treated right away. Treatment can be done by a dental professional, and it begins with intensive plaque and tartar removal. After that, the patient must follow a careful oral hygiene routine every day in order to manage the symptoms. Fixing the teeth may be necessary if there are teeth that are the cause of the sensitivity.
In general, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. Using an antiseptic mouthwash is helpful, too. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your dental professional immediately.
If you need to set up a consultation or an appointment for a cleaning, call us at (616) 842-0822 today!