How to Protect Your Teeth

How Gingivitis Develops, Symptoms, And Treatments

Gingivitis refers to the inflammation of your gum tissue. It is an early type of periodontal disease but if identified while still in its early stages, it can be reversible. However, if not treated, it can progress into advanced periodontal disease which can destroy your gums and the underlying bones, and lead to tooth loss. Here are some things you should know about how gingivitis develops, its symptoms, and effective treatment options.

How Gingivitis Develops And Its Common Symptoms

Gingivitis is most often caused by poor oral hygiene, though it can develop in almost anyone. Improper oral care can result in the build-up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria that eats away at the teeth, gums, and underlying tissue. If oral hygiene is neglected, bacteria, plaque, and tartar not only build up on the surfaces of your teeth but also under the gum line. Over time the bacteria can lead to serious oral infections, bone destruction, and tooth loss.

Bacteria feed on starches and sugars that are inside the mouth after drinking and eating, which causes plaque to stick to your teeth. If not removed with proper brushing, it will get hard and turn into tartar (calculus). This further increases bacterial growth that can trigger gum inflammation, bleeding, dental decay, and advanced periodontal disease. In addition to bleeding gums and inflammation, symptoms of gingivitis include dark red gum tissue, receding gums, tooth sensitivity, pain when chewing, and bad breath.

Treatments For Gingivitis

To treat your gingivitis, your dentist may prescribe a medicated oral rinse, a topical antibiotic gel for your gums, or oral antibiotics. A type of professional deep cleaning called a scaling and root planing procedure may also be recommended by your dentist to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and under your gums.

If you have periodontal pockets which are spaces or gaps around your teeth, your dentist can perform a procedure called flap surgery to help clean away calculus from deep inside the pockets. Eating nutrient-dense foods such as those high in vitamin C, drinking plenty of water, and not smoking can also help manage your gum disease and promote healing.

If you develop signs or symptoms of gingivitis, make an appointment with a local dentist. While your dentist can recommend effective treatment options for your gum disease, prevention is key. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and visiting your dentist for checkups and cleanings will help keep your teeth and gums healthy while enhancing your overall state of health.