Gingivitis is a word that people often brush off or ignore when it comes to their oral health. However, gingivitis is an oral condition that provides a gateway to irreversible damage to the teeth and mouth, and it is essential that dental patients have a true understanding of this oral health issue. Gingivitis is not something that should ever be dismissed or ignored – it is a dangerous and slippery slope that can lead to a lifetime of costly dental issues.
Gingivitis occurs when there is bacterial growth inside the mouth. It is the earliest stage of periodontal disease, yet the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that gingivitis is treatable while periodontitis is irreversible. If gingivitis is not properly treated early on, it will lead to tooth loss from the destruction of the gum tissues that surround and support the teeth.
Bacteria naturally occur inside the mouth – it is moist, warm, and constantly fed, which makes it the ideal home for bacterial growth. As plaque buildup occurs each day following the foods and beverages that you consume, bacteria begin to grow along the gum lines. Those who floss their teeth every day remove the majority of plaque buildup and the damaging causing bacteria. However, those who do not floss daily allow bacteria-laden plaque to fester at the gum lines and set the mouth up for gingivitis. Gingivitis is an infection in the gum tissues caused directly by a bacterial infection.
The first signs of gingivitis are red, swollen, and tender gums. These are caused by the bacteria attacking the outer layers of gum tissue. These symptoms can generally be treated with at home care of brushing (gently) more frequently and flossing each day. Avoiding sugar until the gum tissues heal is also advisable since bacteria are most attracted to sugars in the foods and beverages that you consume. However, if the first warning signs of gingivitis are ignored, it will become necessary for professional dental intervention to be performed. Deep gum cleanings can remove a bacterial infection and a prescription for antibiotics can help clear up the infection and prevent further damage while the gums heal.
Gingivitis should never be ignored as it is directly linked to periodontitis – irreversible gum disease. Periodontitis can be directly linked to heart disease, diabetes, miscarriage, and preterm labor. By treating gingivitis in its earliest stage, you can help to prevent permanent damage to your mouth and your health. If you have any signs of gingivitis, please contact Group Health Dental right away to schedule an appointment. We are here to promote optimal oral health.