Gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums due to bacterial infection, affects nearly 35.7 million adults in America. Luckily, however, gingivitis is one of the most easily treated dental diseases, provided it is diagnosed early. Contact Us Today.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a condition that affects the gums, rendering them swollen, red, and painful to the touch. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into more serious forms of periodontal (gum) disease, eventually leading to socket infections and even loss of teeth. There are two main forms of gingivitis: plaque-induced, and non-plaque induced.
Plaque-induced gingivitis is by far the most common form of the disease. Infection is caused when plaque, a sticky substance composed of bacteria, mucus, and food debris, accumulates on the teeth. Eventually, the plaque hardens into tartar, which begins to irritate the gums. This in turn triggers an autoimmune response from the body, causing inflammation.
Non-plaque induced gingivitis is less common, but still possible. Any action which irritates or injures your gums can lead to gingivitis, including overly vigorous brushing, aggressive flossing, athletic injuries, and food allergies. Other conditions which weaken or change the immune system can also cause gingivitis, such as pregnancy, menopause, and puberty. Those who suffer from autoimmune diseases like arthritis, diabetes, AIDS, and cancer are also at high risk for gingivitis.
The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier, cheaper, and more painless the treatment will be. Generally, the primary method of treatment is removal of the plaque and tartar in a process called “scaling”. After this, your dentist may recommend a variety of options to help speed your recovery and control your plaque build-up in the future. These options include:
- An electric toothbrush
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- Improved brushing techniques, such as holding the brush at a 45-degree angle
- An antiseptic, anti-plaque mouthwash
- Fluoride toothpaste containing an anti-inflammatory agent
- A diet with increased Vitamin C and calcium, which help boost gum and tooth health
For non-plaque induced gingivitis, treatment may be more complex, as it will require treatment of the underlying causes and symptoms. Generally, however, improved oral hygiene is the best treatment option. Learn more.
Don’t Delay in Treating
While gingivitis can be very mild in the beginning, it can progress into a very uncomfortable, painful condition. Not only does gum disease threaten the health of your mouth and teeth (not to mention your breath), it also has been linked to increasing your risk for diseases such as heart disease and pulmonary disease. At Friendly Dentistry we provide a professional, judgement-free environment in which we evaluate your symptoms and determine the best path for treatment. If you notice red, swollen, or painful gums, call us right away to start your gingivitis treatment today. Our doctors.
Schedule an appointment below: