What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. When left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is a form of gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth decay. With early detection and proper oral hygiene, gingivitis can be reversed. Common signs of gingivitis include tender or swollen gums or gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Your gum line may appear inflamed, although some patients may not show any symptoms at all. If you suspect the presence of gingivitis, you should call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Causes of Gingivitis
The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque buildup on your teeth as a result of improper brushing and poor oral care. When teeth are not properly taken care of, toxins and bacteria build up that can irritate the gums. Other causes include
- Hormonal changes
- Diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and HIV
- Tobacco use
- Poor diet
- Family history
Treatment for Gingivitis
The first thing to do after you suspect gingivitis is to adopt a daily routine of proper oral care and stop the use of tobacco products. When you come in for your appointment, we will perform a thorough professional cleaning that removes all traces of plaque, tartar, and bacterial products. This process is also known as root planing and scaling, which effectively removes buildup from your teeth and below your gums.
We can also address issues like poorly fitted crowns, misaligned teeth, cracks, chips, or other areas of concern that make it difficult to clean your teeth. Our staff takes pride in educating patients about proper oral hygiene techniques and will show you how to maintain proper oral health at home. You can learn more on our at-home care page.
When to See a Dentist
If you suspect gingivitis, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist can evaluate the state of your gums and teeth, thoroughly clean your teeth, and diagnose any other oral health problems. You may have gingivitis if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Inflamed or swollen gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Ongoing bad breath
- Receding gum line
- Painful gums
- Soft and spongy gums
- Pus, cysts, or sores that will not heal in your mouth