When it comes to good dental hygiene, preventing gingivitis is vital. At Dakota Dental, we love taking care of your teeth, so we thought we’d share our knowledge about what gingivitis is, what causes it, and preventative measures you can take.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease. When starches and sugars from the food you eat mix with the bacteria typically found in your mouth, it forms into plaque on and around your teeth. If that plaque isn’t removed daily by thoroughly brushing and flossing, it’ll harden into tartar. Tartar causes inflammation where the gums meet the base of your teeth, otherwise known as the gingiva, hence why this gum disease is called gingivitis.
Preventing gingivitis requires a set of routine steps, some of which you may already be doing. Visiting the dentist every 6-12 months, brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing every day drastically reduces your risk of gum disease. By incorporating these practices into your routine, your teeth will stay strong and healthy.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
The most common symptoms of gingivitis include swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. The other big tell-tale sign you may have gum disease is bad breath that doesn’t go away no matter how much mouthwash you swirl. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to make a dental appointment so a dentist can do a thorough examination and measure your gum line to see what’s going on.
If left untreated, gingivitis can cause the gums to separate from the tooth, and if the infection continues to progress it can develop into periodontitis and you may lose the tooth altogether.
Risks of Gingivitis
The chances of developing this gum disease increase if you’re pregnant, diabetic, immunocompromised or genetically disposed to the disease. You also may be more likely to develop gingivitis if you have other dental issues including crooked teeth, ill-fitting dental appliances, or broken fillings. That’s one of many reasons it’s important to schedule consistent dental appointments.
Gingivitis treatment includes proper oral hygiene: brushing and flossing regularly. If you’re a smoker, you may be asked to cut back on smoking. In more extreme cases, you may be prescribed antibiotic medicine and ultimately surgery.
Put regular check-ups back on your schedule
Contact us! At Dakota Dental, we’re ready to regularly care for your teeth so we can prevent gum disease from taking a toll on your mouth.