Gingivitis is an oral health disease that most often results from poor oral home care. Many individuals who suffer from this condition are unaware of it because gingivitis is seldom painful. Some of the symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing (noticeably pink saliva).
- Puffy or swollen red gums.
- Bad breath.
- Sensitive teeth.
- Receding gums.
These symptoms can lead to Periodontal Disease down the road, so it’s important to get the situation under control sooner than later.
How can I prevent gingivitis?
The best method to stop what causes gingivitis is to increase the amount of time spent brushing and flossing. These methods have been shown to be effective in removing plaque from the mouth, especially in areas along the gumline. Plaque is a sticky, often invisible film found on the surface of the teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums. Plaque is made up of bacterial cells, their food and the waste they produce. This combination, when left stuck on teeth and/or along the gumline, can irritate the tissue and cause an inflammation reaction to occur within the body’s immune system. The longer an individual waits to remove this sticky mass, the more time it has to damage the teeth and surrounding gum tissue. This series of events is what causes gingivitis. And you can start preventing gingivitis today.
Flossing is extremely important.
You may have seen in the news earlier this year that flossing was under scrutiny by the FDA claiming that there is no scientific evidence that shows flossing helps your oral health. See our previous post Gum Disease Experts: Floss or Risk Losing Your Teeth.
Don’t be fooled, flossing is still very important for maintaining good oral hygiene.
When gingivitis is noticed, it is best to contact a dental professional, who can help reverse the effects of gingivitis and return the gums to the firm, pink state that indicates healthy oral tissue. This is important in preventing gingivitis. Regular visits to a dental professional to assess the condition of gum tissue will also decrease the progression of gingivitis to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis. The sooner one cares for their gums affected by gingivitis, the better the outcome. Whereas gum disease is a reversible condition, periodontal disease is not as easily treated and can lead to tooth loss resulting from damage to gums, bone and other tissues that surround the teeth.