Gingivitis is a form of gum disease which is both highly treatable and preventable. It is the first stage of gum disease. As gum disease progresses, it ultimately leads to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a much more severe form of gum disease that requires extensive treatment and care. When it comes to your gums you know the saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
At Hillock Family Dentistry, we take our duty to our patients very seriously – they are treated like family, and always made to feel comfortable and welcomed. Worried about dental care for gingivitis? We invite you to discover a dental office where we deeply care about your comfort during treatment.
What is Gingivitis?
Gum disease begins when plaque accumulates on your teeth and begins to harden. As the plaque hardens, bacteria gather around the plaque causing inflammation and redness.
Over time, these bacteria damage the gum tissue, and can lead to further damage of the teeth and bone if left untreated.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Since gingivitis is usually painless, most people are unaware that they have it. Symptoms of gingivitis include swollen gums or gums that are puffy, receding gums, gums that are tender or bleed easily when brushing or flossing, or gums that appear red and inflamed.
More severe symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Teeth which appear longer. If your gums are receding, your teeth will appear longer than they once did. This is a good indicator that gingivitis is present.
- Pockets which form between the teeth and the gums. When gums begin to pull away from your teeth, a pocket can form. This is a dangerous place where food particles can fall, and bacteria can form. The formation of bacteria in these pockets can result in infection or abscess.
- Chronic bad breath. Persistent halitosis is often a sign of poor oral hygiene and can be a strong indicator of gingivitis.
- Pus coming from between the tooth and the gum. Pus located in the pockets which form between the tooth and the gum is a pretty clear indication of the presence of gum disease.
Many people who have gum disease have a combination of the symptoms listed above. If you think you may have gingivitis, contact Hillock Family Dentistry so we can take action to address the problem before it turns into something more serious. Don’t worry – we always ensure our patients are comfortable during treatment.
Treatment of Gingivitis
Even though you have been brushing your teeth for decades, are you using the proper technique? You might be surprised to learn that many adults aren’t familiar with the proper techniques for oral hygiene.
- The right tools. Purchasing the correct toothbrush is key to properly cleaning your teeth. If you are interested in removing plaque and bacteria, you should use a tooth brush with soft bristles, so you don’t risk damaging your gums.
- Time is important. You should brush your teeth for at least two full minutes, spending 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.
- Details, details, details. Be sure you brush not only the outermost facing side of your teeth, but also the inside and tops of each tooth as well.
- Be careful. Using too much pressure can damage and inflame your gums.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
When you’re finished thoroughly cleaning your teeth, you should rinse all of that debris away and out of your mouth. Rinsing with a mouthwash will rinse bacteria and food particles out of your mouth and leave your teeth sparkling clean.
In addition to these techniques, Vitamin C helps to speed the healing process and can aid with bleeding gums. You may take Vitamin C as a tablet or be sure to eat plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables which naturally contain Vitamin C such as citrus fruit, fresh cherries, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes.
Prevention of Gingivitis
The most important step you can take to prevent gingivitis is to keep your mouth and teeth healthy with regular cleanings and check-ups at Hillock Family Dentistry. Thorough cleanings paired with good at-home oral hygiene habits are usually enough to keep gingivitis at bay.