Gingivitis is not common among our Holly Springs patients, but it’s an important problem we watch for. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, especially the gingiva, which is the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which is why it’s important to take it seriously. The good news is that it’s easily treated if detected on time. Here’s what you need to know.
Gingivitis is caused by plaque, which is the bacteria that forms on your teeth. Plaque can eventually release toxins that are harmful to your teeth if it is not removed through daily brushing and flossing. This problem can eventually cause permanent damage to your gums, jaw, and teeth, so it’s best to see your team at Klooster Family Dentistry regularly.
Watch for Warning Signs
Signs can tell you if you are developing gingivitis or gum disease. These signs include red, swollen, tender gums, or gums that may bleed when you brush. Another sign is receding gum lines, when the gum line moves away from the teeth and exposes a larger part of the tooth than normal. Gum disease can also cause spaces between the gums and teeth that will collect plaque and food particles.
While anyone can develop gingivitis, there are some factors that increase your risk, including the following:
- Use of tobacco products
- Dry mouth
- Poor nutrition
- Crooked teeth that are harder to clean
- Dental work that isn’t done properly
- Any conditions or diseases that decrease immunity
- Some drugs for epileptic seizures, angina, or high blood pressure (always inform your dentist of medications you are taking)
- Some viral and fungal infections
The good news: it’s fairly easy to prevent gingivitis. The most important (and easiest) way is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once per day. Visit your dental care team for professional cleanings every six months, because once the plaque has hardened, only your dentist will be able to remove it from your teeth. Eating a proper diet will also help prevent gingivitis, as well as avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco.
If you need a professional cleaning or are concerned about the symptoms of gingivitis, contact us to schedule an appointment.