Gingivitis is a term used to refer to mild gum disease. The name comes from the part of your gums that are closest to your teeth – gingiva– that are affected by this very common oral health concern. Gingivitis causes redness, inflammation and irritation of the gums and is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth.
Most often, poor oral hygiene is what leads to the excess of bacteria; you can prevent gingivitis by brushing daily, flossing regularly, and seeing a dentist twice per year as part of your preventative care regiment. You are also more likely to develop gingivitis if you chew tobacco or smoke, are undergoing treatment for cancer, or have poor nutrition.
How do you know if you have gingivitis?
The most common signs of this oral health condition are:
· Tender or receding gums
· Dark red gums (healthy gums are pale pink)
· Bad breath
· Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
· Swollen gums (healthy gums are firm)
Is gingivitis something I should worry about?
If caught and treated early, gingivitis will not cause any long-term health concerns. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to serious dental problems, including tissue and tooth loss. Additionally, it can turn into more serious periodontal disease that can affect the rest of your body and overall health. Diseases like diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular conditions have connections to poor oral health and gum disease.
How can you prevent gingivitis?
First and foremost, proper oral hygiene can help you avoid developing gingivitis. Floss before you brush once per day and brush your teeth at least twice per day. Check out our brushing tips to be sure you are protected between dental visits. Eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables; Vitamin C is integral to oral health.Finally, be sure to see a dentist twice per year for preventative care and be sure to discuss any concerns you may have. X-rays and other tools can help us make diagnoses, but you live with your mouth every day.
Be proactive in your oral health and dental care. Book an appointment with Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee now through our online contact form or call our patient service desk at 770-945-5850. Our caring team will clean your teeth and address any oral concerns or questions you may have.