Gingivitis is a mild version of gum disease, and is unfortunately pretty common. It affects your gingiva, which is the part of the gums that sits at the base of your teeth. While easily treatable, the main danger of gingivitis is the potential for it to develop into full blown gum disease, which is much more serious.
Gingivitis is mainly caused by poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth often enough and you floss only infrequently, it will lead to plaque build-up. Plaque forms when bacteria that is already in your mouth comes into contact with sugars, and it develops quickly. The real kick in the shin, however, is when plaque turns into tartar, which is hardened plaque that gets stuck under your gum line. The worst part? It collects even more bacteria!
Along with bad breath, if you have gingivitis you may be plagued with symptoms such as swollen or receding gums, tenderness of the gums (often to the point that some mild bleeding can occur when brushing your teeth), and even a discoloration of the gums, especially near the teeth, which can be a slightly pale or even dark red color.
If left to its own devices, gingivitis spreads deeper into the gums and the bone, a condition known as periodontitis, which can lead to more complicated health issues. Ulcerations, and even in the worst case scenario, tooth loss, are inevitable if untreated. Fortunately, although gingivitis is pretty common, it is easily treatable. An appointment with your dentist for a deep clean, as well as diligent oral hygiene, are all that’s needed to make sure your mouth is healthy and your smile stays beautiful. In addition to disciplined self care, routine checkups are strongly recommended to make sure your mouth stays as clean as possible and to detect cavities and gum disease before they appear.
For more information about gingivitis, please contact:
Webster Cosmetic Dentistry, Ltd.
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515