WHAT IS GINGIVITIS AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Are your gums sometimes red and inflamed? Do they sometimes bleed? You’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans age 30 or older suffer from some type of gum disease, according to the Center for Disease Control. Among those age 65 and older that number is nearly 65 percent. While these symptoms are merely annoying and irritating, they are signs for burgeoning gum disease, something that could cause you to lose your teeth and even promote systemic infection.
WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?
Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease. It affects your gums, particularly at the base of your teeth. Symptoms of gingivitis include red and inflamed gums, swollen and bleeding gums, bad breath and receding gums. Factors such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, poor nutrition, getting older and pregnancy can all increase the likelihood of a person getting gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can process into more serious periodontal disease and the loosening of your teeth. Periodontal disease has also been linked to increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis.
DIAGNOSING AND TREATING GINGIVITIS
Your dentist will examine your gums for gingivitis, look for tartar at the base of your teeth and use Xrays to access the integrity of your gum structure. If he or she determines that you do have gingivitis, the good news is that prompt treatment usually stops the progression and even reverses damage down to your gums and teeth. Treatment includes scaling your teeth. That involves removing the tartar, plaque, and bacteria on your teeth above and below the gum line. This is often done using a laser or ultrasonic device. Your dentist may also address any ill-fitting dental appliances like bridges or crowns that may be contributing to your gum irritation. In most cases, mild gingivitis will resolve itself completely after the scaling. To make sure, your dentist will likely schedule a follow-up appointment to check your progress a month or so after your scaling appointment.
The best thing you can do to prevent gingivitis and other types of gum disease is to brush well twice daily, floss at least once daily and see your dentist at least two each year. Part of your semi-annual dental exam is to check your gums for gingivitis. Catching this dental condition early can help prevent it developing into more serious periodontal disease and causing you to lose your teeth.
KEEPING YOUR TEETH AND GUMS HEALTHY WITH DOBSON RANCH DENTAL CARE
The dental professionals at Dobson Ranch Dental Care know the importance of identifying and treating the early signs of gingivitis. Our Mesa area dental practice has been caring for area residents like you for more than a decade. Our caring and experienced dental team use all of the latest technology to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful. For more tips on caring for your teeth and gums and to schedule an appointment, contact us at 480-838-8558.