Gingivitis may be a dental term you are already aware of. It is a condition that is marked by red, bleeding and puffy gums. As many as half of American adults suffer from this initial stage of gum disease. While gingivitis is common, it doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis refers to inflammation of gum tissue in your mouth. It most often develops due to poor oral hygiene, or when plaque is not cleaned off the teeth. Once the plaque hardens, it irritates the soft tissues at the gum line or base of the teeth. In doing so, gingivitis is marked by gums that are red, swollen or bleed easily. These are warning signs that your gums are inflamed and that gingivitis has set in. Fortunately, your gums can be easily restored at this stage.
Ignoring gingivitis, however, could mean a full infection of the gums and damage to the underlying bone. Advanced gum disease (called periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. It can also increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Reversing Early Gum Disease
The only good news about gum disease is that it can be easily reversed if caught at its early stages of gingivitis. Therefore, if you notice signs of gingivitis, take the following action steps sooner rather than later:
- Floss Daily
- Brush Teeth for 2 Minutes Each Time
- Use a Gingivitis-Fighting Mouthwash (cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine)
- Watch Your Sugar Intake (including starchy carbohydrates)
- Visit Our Office for a Professional Cleaning
Think you have the beginnings of gum disease brewing in your mouth? Let us help. A professional dental cleaning can typically eliminate the hardened plaque and bacteria that is irritating your gums. One of the worst mistakes you can make with gingivitis is avoiding the issue. While our office is equipped to treat advanced periodontal disease, it is much easier, faster and cheaper to treat gingivitis.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,