Gingivitis: You Probably Have It

Gingivitis is an incredibly common condition, so much so that most people will have it at some point in their lives. Many people live with the disease and think it’s perfectly normal. Unfortunately, left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and tooth and bone loss.

What Is Gingivitis?

Well, first it is important to let everyone know what gingiva is. Gingiva is your gum tissue. So gingivitis is the inflammation of your gum tissue. It comes from bacteria that continually inflame your gums.

Symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • build-up of plaque and tartar(accumulations at the base of your tooth)
  • swollen or puffy gums
  • dark red gums rather than pink
  • tender gums
  • gums pulling away from the teeth or receding gums
  • bleeding gums that occurs when brushing or flossing
  • chronic bad breath

Gingivitis Differs From Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a likely progression of gingivitis that occurs when the existing bacteria and infection goes deeper into the tissue and begins to weaken the bone and roots of the teeth.

Periodontal disease shares some symptoms with gingivitis as it comes from the same condition, but it has other symptoms as well:

  • pockets of space missing around the base of the teeth
  • pus
  • shiny, bright red, swollen gums(like would accompany the pus)
  • loose teeth
  • tooth pain

What Can Be Done About Gingivitis?

Thankfully, it is very easy to treat the cause of gingivitis since most of it caused from less than satisfactory dental hygiene.

Regular brushing, at least twice a day, flossing, and having regular dental cleanings remove the bacteria and subsequent plaque and tartar that cause gingivitis.

Sugary diets, dry mouth, smoking, immune conditions, and some medications can increase the likelihood of developing gingivitis, but if you lessen your consumption on sugar, stop smoking, and consult your dentist about the other factors you have no control over you can address their impact on your oral health.

Unfortunately, once the gum has begun to recede from the teeth, it can’t grow back or reattach itself. Grafting will have to be performed on more severe cases of gum recession.

The good news is that gingivitis is a very preventable and treatable condition. Proper oral hygiene prevents it and  permanent damage can be avoided if it is treated soon enough. So many people have plaque, tartar, and bleeding gums themselves and know others that do that they don’t realize the importance of having it treated. It isn’t “normal”and this very avoidable and treatable condition can lead to gum recession and tooth loss. Most of us will begin getting a touch of gingivitis at some point, but we can stop it and prevent it doing damage to our teeth by improving our dental hygiene practices and having regular dental cleanings.



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