inflamed gumOf all the gum diseases known to man, gingivitis is the most common. Defined as the mild inflammation of the gums, the primary sign of gingivitis is having red, swollen gums that have the tendency to bleed. Most individuals have gingivitis at some point or another, but dentists are urging their patients to be more serious about their gums and this includes addressing gingivitis right at its very onset. Allow Dr. Barber, our skilled Fayetteville, NC dentist, to assess the condition of your gums for good oral health.

Cause of Gingivitis

Failing to brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash leads to the accumulation of plaque. This white, soft substance forms a film around one’s teeth and then accumulates along one’s gum line. The problem plaque is that it is ridden with bacteria and acids which can eat away at one’s enamel. If this plaque is not removed after 72 hours, this soft substance hardens into a mineral-like substance called tartar. Tartar irritates gum tissue and leads to gum recession. In a nutshell, it’s tartar which causes gingivitis.

Complications of Gingivitis

The reason why our Fayetteville, NC dental team want patients to get serious with gingivitis right at its very onset is because it can lead to complications including extensive damage of deep gum tissues. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to the development of periodontitis which leads to the destruction of gum tissues and jawbones. Gingivitis is also the number one cause of tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Normal and healthy gums are supposed to appear pink and firm, but individuals with gingivitis have red and swollen gums and in some instances, their gums may even look purplish. At the same time, people with gingivitis have gums that easily bleed. If you notice streaks of blood every time you spit toothpaste when you brush your teeth, then you may have gingivitis. Mouth sores also accompany swollen gums.

Diagnosing Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a fairly easy disease to diagnose especially since you can screen your gums yourself. Once you suspect that you may have gingivitis, think about your dental hygiene habits and check which part you have been remiss. If you have been remiss in flossing your teeth once every day, then you may need to work hard at doing just that.

Mouthwashes are also proven to reduce the build-up of plaque and prevent gingivitis. Be very mindful though of which mouthwash product you’re purchasing, and make sure that you’re buying the one which prevents plaque build-up. Lastly, make sure to book an appointment with your Fayetteville, NC dentist at least once every six months so that you can have a professional dental cleaning which includes the removal of those pesky tartar accumulations.