What Is Gingivitis?

GingivitisGingivitis is a form of gum disease that, if it is left untreated, can lead to periodontitis. This is a more serious form of gum disease that causes infections of the gums that can damage soft tissue and even destroy the bone structures that support your teeth. Periodontitis has even been reported as a contributing factor that can lead to serious health complications including heart disease and stroke. These are just some of the reasons gingivitis must be taken seriously. According to the AmericanAcademy of Periodontology, gingivitis is the more common form of gum disease and, even though it is a mild form of gum disease, it often leads to the more serious gum disease, periodontitis. Gingivitis can be painless, which means it often goes undetected, and therefore, neglected. The fact is, though, that gingivitis is easy to prevent. With a simple oral hygiene routine that takes just a few minutes a day, your teeth and gums should remain healthy and free of disease for the rest of your life. Here is further information on gingivitis, including the signs and symptoms to watch out for, how you and your family dentist in Clearwater can treat gingivitis, and how to prevent it in the first place.

Causes

Plaque is that nasty feeling you get on your teeth when you haven’t brushed them. When poor oral hygiene is practiced, bacteria will form on teeth that cause plaque, which is an unseen film that coats your teeth and needs to be removed. Bacteria aren’t always bad. In fact, everyone’s mouth has bacteria. It’s necessary to have bacteria in the mouth in order to break down food particles. However, when teeth are not attended to properly with regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, bacteria will build up and cause dental problems such as cavities, gingivitis, tooth decay, and more.

Signs and symptoms

It’s very typical for a person to have gingivitis and yet to experience no pain at all. There are ways, however, to detect gingivitis, even you aren’t experiencing any pain. Gingivitis causes chronic bad breath and swollen, red, and bleeding gums. If you find that you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s very important that you see your family dentist as soon as possible in order to correct any issues that might be occurring with your teeth and gums. If left untreated, gingivitis often leads to periodontitis. Some of the symptoms of this more serious form of gum disease include purple or bright red gums, gum sensitivity, swollen and bleeding gums, and bad taste in the mouth. Periodontitis can even lead to the gums receding, which will make your teeth look longer than normal. This more serious form of gum disease can lead to loose teeth, spaces between your teeth, pus between the teeth, and even bite changes that will make it more difficult to eat and speak. The simple fact is that a poor oral hygiene routine will lead to gingivitis. And, if gingivitis is neglected, you may be facing losing your teeth forever. There is good news, though, because gingivitis is a very preventable gum disease.

Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups

Every proper oral hygiene routine needs to include at least three components: brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. It’s vital that you brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste in order to remove the bacteria that build up and cause plaque. An added step that should accompany brushing is flossing. Top dentists recommend flossing at least once daily, or better yet, each time you brush, in order to remove the food particles between teeth that toothbrushes can’t reach. Visiting a top dentist in Clearwater is also a necessary factor in preventing gum disease, since your dentist can detect problems and changes occurring within your mouth often before you can. For added protection, it helps to eat nutritious foods, especially crunchy vegetables that help to clean food particles from teeth and provide vital nutrients to teeth, gums, and dental bone structures.

Dry mouth

Saliva is a very important component when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth. If you’re taking regular medications, these often will cause dry mouth, characterized by lack of saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize harmful bacteria that can lead to gingivitis. If you’re taking regular medications, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Chewing sugarless gum also helps to replenish saliva. For added protection, use an ADA-approved mouth rinse every day.

Nobody wants gum disease, but gingivitis still is the most common form of gum disease among dental patients throughout the country. The good news is that gingivitis may be one of the most preventable, and even treatable, diseases of the human body. With regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, your teeth can last a lifetime. Contact a top dentist in your area if you’re experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of gingivitis.

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