Gingivitis is when your gums are inflamed, sore, puffy, or mildly irritated. It signifies a risk for gum disease and should be taken seriously, but is generally easy to treat when diagnosed early and managed correctly.
Every day a thin film of bacteria, called plaque, is accumulating on your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing will help remove your plaque and protect your gums and teeth, but if brushing or flossing is skipped too many times (or done poorly) that plaque builds up and can irritate the gums and eventually lead to gum disease, or periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can spread to affect other tissues, teeth, and bones. Only a dental professional can help get rid of the hardened plaque and the calculus on your teeth. Gingivitis is the first symptom of that disease.
A patient with gingivitis usually has red puffy gums that are sensitive and might bleed when he or she brushes or flosses. Although it’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene, gingivitis can also be caused by smoking, medications, hormonal changes, and more. Mild gingivitis can go unnoticed by patients, so be sure to come in regularly for your dental appointments to be certain you don’t have any problems.
To prevent gingivitis make sure you are brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day. If you feel that this is not helping or that you are at risk for gingivitis make an appointment to come see us today.