The onset of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, is often due to negligent or improper oral hygiene care, skipping dental appointments intended to clean and examine teeth for problems, tobacco use, and overall poor health choices. There are signs to indicate it is time to see the dentist to prevent gum disease and further damage to your teeth.
Red, swollen gums – healthy gum tissue is pink and does not appear puffy.
Bleeding – using the wrong toothbrush (hard bristle) or scrubbing teeth too hard can result in gum tissue bleeding. However, bleeding without provocation is an indicator you might be developing gingivitis.
Bad breath – infectious tissue can result in chronic bad breath. Halitosis can stem from throat or sinus infections as well, but if you have any other oral symptoms, you should consult with your dentist.
Gum tissue appears to be pulling away from teeth – if this is happening, or if one or more teeth feel loose, you are dealing with serious problems that won’t go away on their own.
Many patients mistakenly believe that gum disease must impact the entire mouth, but in reality, one, several, or all your teeth can suffer from gingivitis. No matter how many teeth are involved, treatment is needed to save your teeth.
All symptoms need not be present for gingivitis concerns. In its early stages, gingivitis is easily treated. Teeth are cleaned, and if infection is present, an antibiotic may be prescribed. There are anti-bacterial rinses that may be recommended as well.
If gum disease has advanced to periodontal disease, further treatment may be needed such as root planing and scaling, which is a much deeper cleaning than ordinarily performed. In the most severe cases, tooth loss can occur.
Failure to recognize and treat gingivitis can have serious consequences. Once gingivitis has advanced to periodontal disease, the patient is more susceptible to a reoccurrence. Patients may be advised to have their teeth cleaned more frequently than twice a year.
Prevention and daily care are the keys to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This includes brushing at least twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste, flossing daily, discontinuing all types of tobacco use, limiting sugary snacks and beverage intake, and keeping your biannual dental appointments.
Your teeth will appear their best, and potential problems will be uncovered before they can escalate into costly and time consuming dental repairs.
Concerned that you may be suffering from gingivitis? Call the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow to make an appointment with our caring team today.