If your gums are red and puffy, or they sometimes bleed, you may have gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild and common form of gum disease that causes inflammation around the base of the teeth. Gingivitis can lead to a more severe condition called periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss.
What causes gingivitis?
Gingivitis is caused when there is a buildup of bacterial plaque around the teeth. This plaque releases toxins that irritate the gums. Several factors can increase your risk of developing gingivitis, including:
Studies have revealed that smokers are seven times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
∙ Improper dental care
Many people develop gingivitis due to poor oral hygiene. In most instances, gingivitis can be avoided if you brush and floss regularly.
Relentless stress can cause your immune system to deteriorate. When this happens, your ability to fight infections is compromised, increasing your likelihood of developing gingivitis.
∙ Hormonal changes
Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause cause variations in hormone levels. These changes can lead to heightened gum sensitivity. For that reason, you must pay special attention to the teeth and gums to prevent gum disease during these times.
∙ Poor nutrition
Poor nutrition reduces your ability to fight infections. Therefore, poor nutrition can increase your risk of gingivitis.
Certain medications can impact your oral health. To understand how your prescriptions can affect the health of your teeth and gums, consult your dentist.
∙ Chronic diseases
Conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV, weaken the body’s defence. So, discuss all your medical conditions with your dentist.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
In the early stages of gingivitis, you may not experience any discomfort or notice any symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, symptoms such as bright red or purple, swollen gums may appear. Your gums may also be tender or hurt when touched and may bleed when you brush or floss. Over time, your gums may start to recede. Patients with gingivitis also often develop halitosis or bad breath.
How to treat gingivitis at home
You can start treating gingivitis at home by brushing your teeth more effectively. Ensure you brush for at least 2 minutes twice daily and consider using an electric toothbrush as it will give you a more thorough cleaning than a manual brush. When you brush, pay keen attention to the gum line as that is where plaque accumulates.
Using antibacterial toothpaste has proven helpful in fighting gingivitis as well. Antibacterial toothpaste protects against plaque all day and night to give you healthier gums. For added protection, use an antibacterial mouthwash that can reach the bacteria hiding in hard to reach places. Finally, remember to floss regularly to get rid of food particles that brushing alone cannot remove.
Professional treatment for gingivitis
Professional teeth cleaning can go a long way in preventing and treating gingivitis. When your teeth are professionally cleaned, your dental hygienist will be able to remove more plaque than you can remove yourself at home.
You likely learned how to brush and floss at a tender age; however, you might be doing things incorrectly. So, when you visit the dentist, feel free to ask if you are brushing and flossing the right way. If you are not, they can show you how to better care for your teeth and gums.
Do you need treatment for gum disease?
If you need treatment for gum disease in Provo, contact us at Sundance Implant and Periodontal Center. At Sundance Implant and Periodontal Center, you will have an unmatched patient experience with optimal results delivered by highly trained and experienced dental professionals in a comfortable environment.