Gingivitis is actually a very common and mild form of periodontal (gum) disease. Your hygienist could probably see some redness, irritation, and swelling in your mouth. Many people don’t even realize they have gingivitis until they see a dental professional. Other people notice some of the following symptoms:
- Swollen gums
- Soft or puffy gums
- Receding gums
- Gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing (sometimes seen as redness or pinkness on brush or floss)
- A change in the color of the gums from a healthy pink to dusky red
- Bad breath
While gingivitis alone is not severe, it still needs to be addressed. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth loss.
Often, people are diagnosed with gingivitis after lapses in their dental care, either from poor habits or sometimes due to insurance issues. Gingivitis results from a buildup of plaque, which after about three days turns to tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing, but tartar needs professional treatment.
Correct dental maintenance involves brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular dental check-ups. The following are risk factors for gingivitis:
- Tobacco use
- Older age
- Decreased immunity
- Certain medications
- Certain viral and fungal infections
- Dry mouth
- Hormonal changes
- Poor nutrition
- Substance abuse
- Ill-fitting dental restorations
Gingivitis can usually be resolved by a thorough dental cleaning, provided ongoing changes are made to prevent recurrence. If you have suffered from gingivitis in the past, or suspect you do currently, consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush and changing it every three to four months. The best solution is prevention! Schedule an appointment at Modern Dentistry to learn more.
Our team at Modern Dentistry is prepared to ease your dental worries. As a workers compensation dentist, among our many specialties, we are equipped and ready to tackle pesky gingivitis before it becomes a big issue. Get started today with one of our friendly staff members.