Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If not caught and treated, it can escalate to periodontitis … at this point the patient is at risk of infection and possibly tooth loss. If you are attentive to your daily oral care that includes brushing and flossing; and see your dentist every six months for cleaning and a dental exam, you are already doing some of the things needed to maintain good oral health.
There are signs to indicate the onset of gingivitis including:
Red, swollen, or bleeding gum tissue – If you brush with a hard bristle toothbrush and/or a heavy hand, you may experience bleeding gums. But if your gums are swollen and red (healthy gum tissue is pink and firm), or they bleed without provocation, you are seeing one of the first symptoms of gum disease.
Chronic bad breath – Many foods (onion, garlic); beverages (coffee, wine); lifestyle (smoking and tobacco use) … all of these things can result in halitosis. But if brushing, mouthwash, or a breath mint do not reduce or eliminate bad breath, you may have infected gum tissue. A sour odor is often present when infection occurs.
Teeth pulling away from gum tissue – If one or more teeth appear to be receding from gums, you need to see your dentist right away.
Teeth feel loose – This is definitely not normal. Failure to obtain treatment right away can mean the loss of one or more teeth.
Gum disease can impact one area of the mouth, a full arch, or both upper and lower teeth. A deep cleaning, also known as root planing and scaling, involves going beneath the surface of the gums to remove plaque from affected teeth. This treatment is the initial step in restoring your dental health.
Additional aids your dentist might recommend include anti-bacterial rinses, antibiotics (when infection is present), and in-office treatments that are intended to improve your condition. A thorough explanation of how to use these products so you can maintain your oral health should accompany treatment.
Once treatment has been rendered, the patient will be educated on how to prevent a recurrence. Keep gum tissue stimulated and help control plaque buildup with a healthy diet; minimize consumption of sugary beverages; eliminate tobacco use; brush at least twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste; and floss every day to remove food debris your toothbrush missed.
Contact Friendly Dental Care at 740-687-6105 today to schedule your next visit.