Gingivitis or gum disease can be painless, but is easily recognized by redness, swelling and bleeding of the gums and teeth. If you have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, this may also be a sign of gum disease. Lose teeth or teeth that are overly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures can also be a red flag.
Luckily, gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and it is reversible. By definition, there is no loss of the bone that supports the tooth. It is almost always preventable with sound daily oral self-care. If it treated early, gingivitis can be eliminated. However, if it is left untreated, it can progress into a more serious form of periodontal disease which affects not only the gums but the bone as well.
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The first place to combat gum disease is in your own home. As mentioned earlier, sound daily oral self-care is the biggest step to treat or reverse gum disease. However, a professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. A dental hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, tartar and food debris above and below the gum line, and hand scales the tooth and root surfaces to make them smooth and disease free. For more serious cases, gingival flap surgery may be performed to reduce periodontal pockets, as well as bone grafting to restore lost bone.
Bleeding gums, one of the signs of gingitivits, are a sign of infection in your moth. Your gum tissues should never bleed. It is not normal to have blood appear on your toothbrush after normal brushing. Because gingivitis does not generally hurt, you may not know you even have it. Gingivitis can be localized around a few teeth or generalized (around multiple teeth). Gingivitis is most seen in patients who do not brush and floss daily.
Let us help you eliminate gingivitis. A good professional cleaning and education on how to better care for your teeth and gums will be crucial for your long term oral health. It may take more than one appointment to get you back into shape, but if you keep your teeth and gums clean, they can be health and trouble-free for your whole life. Call us today to schedule a cleaning or consultation!