Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It causes your gums to become reddened, irritated and swollen. Many people are unaware they have this condition, but it’s important to take symptoms seriously and seek treatment promptly as it is the early stage of gum disease.
When diagnosed early, this conditions can be treated and even reversed. However, if left untreated, this condition can advance to gum disease, which is a far more serious oral health issue that is not reversible. Gum disease can result in tooth and bone loss, and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease affects more than your mouth, proven by recent studies that have linked gum disease to diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
Healthy gums appear pale pink and are firm. This condition is rarely painful, making it difficult for you to be aware of its presence. The following are symptoms you should look for:
- Receding or swollen gums
- Soft, puffy gums
- Occasional tenderness of gums
- Bleeding gums from flossing or brushing
- Dusky red gums
- Bad breath
Causes of This Early Gum Disease
Typically, poor hygiene is the primary cause of this mild gum disease. The following are also contributing factors:
- Certain medications
- Substance abuse
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Certain diseases and conditions
Steps for Gingivitis Prevention
The most important step in prevention is to visit your general dentist on a regular basis. You should have dental maintenance visits at least twice per year, unless told otherwise by your local dentist office. This condition can usually be reversed with a thorough, professional cleaning and dental checkup followed by good oral health practices at home.
To be sure you are cleaning your mouth properly, ask your general dentist to show you the proper technique. According to the American Dental Association, your teeth should be brushed, using the proper technique, twice per day. In addition, an interdental aid, such as dental floss should be used daily. Other recommendations for gingivitis prevention include using a toothpaste with antimicrobial properties, and including your tongue in your brushing routine.
While sleeping, there is no disruption to the growing bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, your mouth should be the cleanest before going to bed so bacteria aren’t doing damage to your teeth and gums while you sleep.
If you’re concerned about gingivitis or have noticed symptoms, don’t delay and schedule a visit to our local Apex dentist office today.