Gingivitis is a common occurrence involving the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gum line area. The most prevalent sign of gingivitis is red, swollen gums that may be tender to the touch as well as bleed during brushing and flossing. Many people tend to become alarmed when they first notice that their gums are bleeding, with good reason — left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into full-blown periodontal disease, which can lead to loss of teeth and create serious health issues. Here’s what you need to know about gingivitis:
There Are Two Types of Gingivitis
The most common type of gingivitis is the type mentioned in the previous paragraph that is caused by plaque buildup in the mouth. The other type involves small lesions on the gum line and often caused by allergies or genetics. Your dentist will be able to tell you which type you have in order to formulate an effective course of treatment.
Gingivitis is Often Reversible
When caught in the early stages, gingivitis is almost always reversible with the right type of oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice per day, every day is essential if you want to win the war on gingivitis. Using a toothpaste designed for those with emerging gingivitis is also recommended as well using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Some patients have reported success with at-home oral irrigation systems.
If Not Treated, Gingivitis Can Turn Into Periodontal Disease
As mentioned earlier, gingivitis turns into periodontal disease in time if it’s not treated. Periodontal disease can result in the loss of teeth and can also adversely affect cardiovascular health if allowed to reach advanced stages.
Risk Factors For Developing Gingivitis
Poor oral hygiene is the biggest risk factor when it comes to the development of gingivitis. It also tends to affect older adults in greater numbers as well as those who smoke, use alcohol, and don’t get enough vitamin C in their diet. Research suggests that there may be genetic factors as well, and those with diabetes and certain forms of cancer may be more prone to developing gingivitis than others.
Please contact us to schedule an examination if you’ve noticed bleeding gums or other potential signs of gingivitis or other dental disorders.