Gingivitis, also known as inflammation of the gums, is the initial stage of gum disease. The condition precedes periodontitis, which is commonly referred to as gum disease. While not all forms of gingivitis will progress to become periodontitis, there is a higher likelihood of experiencing serious gum disease and loss of teeth if gingivitis is left untreated.
Some of the common causes of the dental condition include genetics, poor dental care, smoking, and diabetes. Some of the risk factors include old age, poor nutrition, conditions that reduce immunity, hormonal changes as well as certain drugs.
Symptoms of gingivitis
One of the reasons why gingivitis develops into serious gum disease is because many people are not aware that they have the condition. That is why it is important to understand the different symptoms of gingivitis.
- Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing of teeth
- Bad breath and bad taste that persists even after you brush your teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Gums that recede from the teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Formation of deep pockets and pus between the teeth and gums
- Inflammation of the gums
- Discolored gums, with a bright red or purple appearance
When you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help. The medical interventions will help you prevent further development of the condition. You will also be in a position to take several preventative measures on your own.
Prevention of the condition
There are some measures that you take to ensure that you prevent the occurrence of this condition.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly – you should use a soft-bristled or electric brush to brush your teeth twice a day. To prevent the condition, it is recommended that you floss your teeth once every day.
- Use mouthwash daily – using a good mouthwash will help you to kill the bacteria in your mouth. When there are fewer bacteria in your mouth, there will be less plaque.
- Improve your diet – poor nutrition is one of the causes of gingivitis, making it important to improve diet as a way of preventing the condition. Adding calcium and essential vitamins to your diet will strengthen your bones and benefit your gums.
- Visit your dentist regularly – when you visit your dentist every six months, they will be able to clean the hard to reach areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.
Treatment of gingivitis
The good news is that it is relatively easy to treat this condition if it is detected early enough. When you go for dental exams, and your dentist detects the problem, they can take the following steps.
Deep cleaning of teeth is designed to remove plaque and tartar that have the potential to cause gum irritation. Some of the teeth and gum cleaning techniques include scaling, root planing, and lasers.
It is possible to get medication that can effectively treat gingivitis. When you visit your dentist, they can prescribe antibiotic mouthwash, oral antibiotics or time-release antiseptic chips. The medications will disinfect the mouth and treat gum inflammation.
When the condition is serious, your dentist will recommend surgical procedures as a way of treating gingivitis.