5 Facts to Know About Gingivitis

Healthy gums mean healthy teeth. The best ways to keep your oral health in tip-top shape is to floss daily, brush twice a day, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams, especially since problems like gingivitis aren’t always easy for the untrained eye to spot. Here is what you need to know about this gum infection so you can avoid it and keep your teeth strong.

1. Gingivitis Is the First Stage of Gum Disease

If you have gingivitis, you have gum disease. Don’t panic though. That term is scary but, when caught early, gingivitis is quickly and aggressively treated to prevent the infection from progressing. It’s critical to see your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and checkup – you’ll also have a gum disease screening, and your dentist will recognize if there are any early symptoms that need to be addressed.

2. Anyone Can Develop Gingivitis

Poor oral hygiene is the fastest route to gingivitis. If you don’t brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss at least once a day, gum health will begin to deteriorate. Dental floss in particular moves plaque and bacteria away from the gumline, where infection can easily set in. Some people are also more susceptible to gingivitis because of genetics – if your parents have this oral health problem, your chances of developing it increase.

3. Gingivitis Can Be a Little Sneaky

If you are told that you have early gum disease, it may feel like the diagnosis comes from out of nowhere, but gingivitis can be a little sneaky. It takes time to develop and the symptoms are often subtle at first. Once the problem exists, its presence becomes clearer. Discomfort is the most obvious sign of gingivitis, along with red, swollen, sore, and bleeding gums, tenderness, gum recession, and bad breath.

4. Unexpected Causes of Early Gum Disease

If you suffer from sleep bruxism and grind your teeth every night, you can do serious damage to your oral health. Gum recession is a common side effect of teeth grinding and clenching and, over time, that problem makes more room for bacteria to infiltrate the gums and develops into gingivitis.

You may take excellent care of your teeth too, but aggressive brushing is the fast route to gum problems. You might think you’re getting your teeth cleaner, but a heavy hand only causes gum irritation and recession, a gateway for bacteria.

5. Gingivitis Is Treatable

Addressing any form of gum disease is no patient’s idea of a good time, but if you are only at the first stage of this oral health problem, you’re lucky. The bacterial infection hasn’t infiltrated your entire mouth and all your teeth and it is easily treatable through laser gum therapy, deep teeth cleaning, and antibiotics.

If you suspect that you have gingivitis or recognize that something just isn’t right with your oral health, don’t wait for your next dental visit. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kiran Gill at Natural Smiles in Louisville, KY, to get help now.

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