Gum disease is a medical condition where the gum line gets inflamed and can affect the health of surrounding bones, teeth and jaw. Gum disease is usually used interchangeably with gingivitis; however, it is not the same.
Gum disease can be classified as a dental condition that goes to three disease stages. It starts off as gingivitis and then slowly increases in severity in the form of periodontal and advanced periodontitis.
The causes and symptoms of all three stages of gum diseases are more or less the same. We want to help you identify first stage gum disease symptoms so that you can adopt a treatment plan that stops the disease from escalating.
Let’s discover what gingivitis entails and how you can prevent and treat this gum disease.
What Is Gingivitis?
It is a non-destructive and mild stage of gum disease that can be easily treated and managed if detected early. Bacteria and poor oral care can cause infection that leaves your gums and teeth vulnerable to pain and lasting damage in the form of periodontitis.
According to the American Dental Association, gum disease is the main cause for tooth loss in American adults. When left untreated, dental infections can be quite the financial burden as surgical interventions might be needed.
Causes of Gingivitis
Poor dental hygiene combined with bacteria and plaque development leads to gingivitis. Food gets stuck between your teeth and should be removed through regular flossing and brushing. A diet consisting of mostly processed sugar and high carbonated drink will only cause more bacteria to slowly fester inside your mouth and start eating away at your teeth and gums.
Medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, poor nutrition, excessive drinking and smoking can cause your oral health to be negatively affected leading to gum disease.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Some common symptoms and early signs of gingivitis include red and inflamed gums that are tender and sensitive. Gums will also be more likely to bleed and feel irritated when you brush or floss. You might experience bad breath and a constant unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Dental plaque and yellow tarter between your teeth doesn’t go away and instead steadily grows. White spots appear on your gums and small pus pockets cause soreness. The gum line starts to recede and exposes the root as they take on an elongated shape.
Chewing food becomes painful and teeth become loose. Your bite might also change as your teeth start shifting.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
Maintaining good oral care and regular visits to a dentist every six months will keep you on top of your dental game. Brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and floss between meals. Rinse your mouth with an anti-septic mouthwash.
Treatment for Gingivitis
Schedule an appointment with your dentist today if you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above. The dentist will help plan a treatment program that will target the symptoms. Antibiotic medications will be prescribed for pus and pain. A deep cleaning and scaling of the teeth might be needed to remove the tarter and plaque.