Common Symptoms and Causes of Gingivitis

When you think about maintaining a healthy smile, you probably picture straight, white teeth. However, the gums surrounding your teeth are just as important. If you don’t take proper care of them, you could develop gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Learn the symptoms and causes of gingivitis and how you can avoid developing this gum problem.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Healthy gums are pale pink, feel firm to the touch, and fit tightly around the teeth. You might have gingivitis if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Swollen gums
  • Dark red gums
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Lingering bad breath
  • Receding gums or pockets around the teeth
  • Gums that feel sore or tender

We recommend seeing a dentist as soon as you notice symptoms of gingivitis. The faster you seek care, the better chances you have of reversing the damage and preventing it from progressing to periodontitis. Once the disease reaches this stage, it cannot be undone, only maintained.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Poor oral hygiene is the primary reason behind gingivitis. Here’s what happens when you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums:

  • Plaque forms on your teeth. This clear, sticky film is left behind when starches and sugars in your food interact with the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Plaque hardens into tartar. If not removed daily, plaque hardens along the gum line into a substance called tartar, or calculus. This attracts and shields bacteria, which quickly multiply and irritate your gums. While plaque can be swept away by brushing and flossing, tartar removal requires professional cleaning.
  • Your gums become inflamed. The longer plaque and tartar linger, the more irritation they cause. Over time, your gums become swollen and infected. You now have gingivitis, and your condition is likely to progress if left untreated.

How to Prevent Gingivitis

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. It has even been linked to other health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, and complications during pregnancy. Keep your gums healthy and prevent gingivitis with these tips:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Professional cleanings help keep gum inflammation at bay, and checkups reveal any problems you didn’t know about.
  • Maintain good health practices. Eating healthy food and managing your blood sugar if you have diabetes is important for promoting gum health.

Treat Gingivitis at Our Dentist Office in Hazlet

If you notice symptoms of gingivitis, don’t ignore them! Prompt treatment is vital to get your gums healthy again and prevent the disease from progressing. Glenwood Premier Dental treats gingivitis and periodontal disease with effective therapies and oral hygiene tips. For answers to your remaining questions, or to schedule your next appointment, please contact our Hazlet dentist office at (732) 264-4477 today.

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