The First Signs of Gingivitis

  • November 14, 2019

dentist Sterling HeightsGingivitis signals the onset of gum disease. If caught early, it is treatable. However, if ignored, it can quickly advance to periodontitis. This stage of gum disease can impact the bones that hold teeth in place requiring special procedures to prevent tooth loss. There are usually symptoms that gum disease may be present … a visit to your dentist will confirm the diagnosis and offer avenues for treatment.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Bleeding Gums – If your gums bleed only when you brush, perhaps you need to look into changing your toothbrush and brushing technique. You should be using a soft bristle toothbrush; you don’t need to scrub your teeth to clean them. Try using less pressure. If bleeding persists, or gums bleed without provocation, it’s time to visit your dentist.

Gum Appearance – They should be pink and firm. If gums are red and puffy, there could be a problem.

Bad Breath – Foods and beverages can linger causing bad breath. But if you are experiencing chronic bad breath, it could mean infection is brewing. Time to get it checked.

Discomfort – Tender gum tissue can be a clue that something is not right.

Gums Receding – If gingiva appears to be pulling away from teeth, your gum disease is advancing. It may not be too late to reverse the damage, but immediate care is needed.

Causes and Treatment 

Neglect, ineffective brushing, missed dental appointments, poor diet, tobacco use … these are some of the causes that can result in gum disease. These primary reasons involve the patient and how they care for their teeth. However, even the most diligent person can experience gingivitis often due to aggressive brushing, hormonal changes, illness, and medications. Seek treatment quickly to get it resolved.

Crooked teeth provide areas for plaque to form and grow. This is why daily brushing and flossing coupled with consistent professional dental cleanings are so important.

Treatment options vary based on the severity of gum disease. A deep cleaning (root planing and scaling) involves going beneath the gum line to remove plaque that has formed. This could result in multiple dental visits. If inflammation and deterioration has advanced, dental surgery may be required to save teeth.

Prevention is optimum – brush twice daily (an electric toothbrush may be recommended); floss to remove what your toothbrush missed; and visit our team at Forever Young Dentistry regularly for a thorough cleaning and exam.