What Is Gingivitis & What Can You Do?
What Is Gingivitis & What Can You Do?
Good oral health is nothing to take lightly, as can be proven by the numerous health risks posed by poor oral health. Of the many things that can cause an issue, one of the more common conditions is gingivitis. To explain simply, gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, where there is irritation, swelling and redness of the gingiva – the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis treatment is straightforward and uncomplicated, and it can even be easily reversed if detected early.
The Symptoms of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is easy to spot and detect, even in its early stages. The most common symptoms associated with this gum disease are:
- Reddening of gums
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
If not acted upon in a timely way, gingivitis can lead to a much more serious gum disease known as periodontitis, or even tooth loss. If you notice any of the above symptoms, it may be the onset of gingivitis, and you should consult with a dentist to understand your gingivitis symptoms and treatment better. Our dentists at Langmore Dental can help you navigate any issues you may have with your gums, and will set you on the right course to treat it.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Like a lot of other oral diseases and conditions, gingivitis is predominantly caused by bad oral health. If good oral hygiene isn’t maintained, it may lead to plaque build-up, which is essentially an invisible sticky layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums because of bacteria in your mouth interacting with starches and sugar from the food you consume. If not kept in check, plaque can turn into tartar (calculus): a hardened layer which makes plaque removal tougher. Plaque and tartar irritate the gingiva and make them more sensitive, causing them to swell up, redden or even bleed.
- While bad oral hygiene is the main cause for the onset of gingivitis, there are other factors that can increase your risk and susceptibility to it, including:
- Dry mouth
- Old age
- Poor nutrition and Vitamin C deficiency
- Hormonal changes
- Medical conditions or infections
Understanding gingivitis causes and treatment options is important to get ahead of the curve and not let the condition develop into something more troubling.
Prevention and Cure of Gingivitis
As they rightly say, prevention is better than cure. Since gingivitis is strongly related to bad oral hygiene, the most obvious way to prevent it is to maintain good oral health. Brushing your teeth twice a day in the right way is key. You may be brushing your teeth frequently, but if your technique is incorrect, it will be less effective. Therefore, you should use a soft-bristled brush and a good antibacterial toothpaste, and stick to a routine pattern so you don’t miss any spots. Flossing is equally important to clear food and plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach, like between your teeth and under your gums. The combination of brushing and flossing twice-daily goes a long way in promoting better oral hygiene, and hence, preventing gingivitis.
Apart from your daily oral routines, it is also important to visit a dentist regularly, for them to professionally clean and scale your teeth and gums, and check for any potential issues that may be arising. Dentists can also make recommendations to you about the way you are going about your oral hygiene.
The cure for gingivitis is similar to the preventive steps, in the sense that it involves thorough cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar. Treatment of bleeding gums and gingivitis is simple, particularly if you catch it early.
Get in Touch Today!
Visiting a dentist for a regular check-up and cleaning is an important step in preventing gingivitis. Whether you want to take those preventive measures or are already noticing symptoms of gingivitis, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our friendly team of dentists at Langmore Dental.