Gingivitis is a common condition that many people develop, and is a mild form of gum disease. It will usually cause your gums to be irritated, swell and can cause redness. This will often be around the base of your teeth. If it isn’t taken care of, it can lead to much worse, such as tooth loss and severe gum disease.
When your gums are healthy they will be firm and a light pink and will be tight around your teeth. The signs of gingivitis usually include swollen gums, dark red coloring, bleeding gums, bad breath, or sensitivity.
If you notice signs of gingivitis you should immediately schedule a visit with a dentist. The faster that it is taken care of, the faster the results. Usually, gingivitis is caused by oral hygiene habits that result in plaque building up on your teeth. Plaque is an invisible, sticky film that is made of bacteria that combines with sugars. It needs to be removed daily to prevent it from building up. Plaque forms quickly and can turn into tartar. If plaque stays on your teeth it will harden into tartar, which will build up underneath your gumline. Removing tartar requires professional dental cleaning.
The longer that tartar stay on your teeth the more likely it will become gingivitis. Again, if this isn’t taken care of it could lead to full gum disease and even tooth decay and loss. While gingivitis is common, there are factors that can increase the risk that you will develop gingivitis. Some of these factors include smoking, old age, poor nutrition, poor oral care, certain drugs, etc. Talk to your dentist if you are prone to developing gingivitis and they can recommend solutions to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Here are some quick tips to help prevent gingivitis from developing.
- Good oral hygiene is the best way to keep gingivitis at bay. Brush your teeth twice per day and don’t rush the brushing process. Make sure to also floss your teeth when you brush. No matter how well you brush you can’t get every part of your tooth.
- Regularly visiting the dentist is critical. Many of the cases we see are because people don’t visit the dentist every six months. We will keep your teeth clean, and if needed do any further work to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
- Healthy living doesn’t only affect the rest of your body, it also affects your teeth. Try not to eat and drink as much sugar and that will go a long way.
Gingivitis isn’t something to freak out about, but it does need to be taken care of because it can become worse. If you have visited the dentist recently, we would encourage you to set up an appointment as soon as possible.