Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, so it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can also help to keep your smile looking its best. In addition to taking care of your teeth and gums, you can also help to keep your smile looking its best by eating a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco products. But if you‘re not taking good care of your teeth and gums, you could be at risk for gingivitis.

WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that can lead to more serious problems like periodontitis. The main symptom of gingivitis is bleeding gums. Other symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums. Fortunately, this gum disease is preventable with good oral hygiene.

CAUSES

There are a number of things that can cause gingivitis, but the most common cause is plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If plaque isn‘t removed, it can harden and turn into tartar. Once tartar forms, it‘s much harder to remove.

If plaque and tartar are not removed, they can irritate and inflame your gums, causing gingivitis.

It is usually signaled by red, swollen, or bleeding gums.

Other causes include:

  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Certain medications that cause dry mouth or an overgrowth of gum tissue
  • Diseases that affect the entire body, such as diabetes

If you have gingivitis, it‘s important to see a dentist so that the condition can be treated. Left untreated, it  can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease.

dental disease gingivitis gums

IDENTIFYING THE PRESENCE OF GINGIVITIS

Many patients we treat unknowingly have developed gingivitis gums. This results in many of our new patients discovering they have gingivitis only after it becomes really dangerous. But you can identify it before it gets to that stage. Watch out for the following symptoms and signs that indicate the presence of gum disease:

  • Gums appear to wear off or recede, making your teeth appear elongated
  • Bad breath and/or bad mouth taste which won’t go away
  • Tender gums that are red and swollen
  • Pockets appearing between teeth and gum, leading to a faster collection of food debris and plaque
  • Brushing or flossing resulting in bleeding

PREVENTION

Simple, everyday practices can keep your teeth and gum healthy, helping prevent gingivitis gums and tooth decay. In all, maintaining a good oral hygiene is key to avoiding and dental problems. Here are some tips for preventing gingivitis:

  • First, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly. This will remove plaque from your teeth and gums, which can help prevent gingivitis.
  • Second, see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Your dentist can remove any tartar or plaque buildup on your teeth and gums that you may have missed.
  • Third, quit smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for developing gingivitis. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your gum health.
  • Fourth, eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, including in your gums.
  • Finally, manage any underlying medical conditions. Conditions like diabetes or HIV/AIDS can increase your risk of developing gingivitis. If you have a chronic medical condition, work with your doctor to keep it under control.

Following these tips can help you prevent gum diseases. However, if you do develop gingivitis, be sure to see your dentist right away for gingivitis treatment.

healthy and gingivitis gums

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