At Edgewater Dental Arts, we strive to educate our patients about different dental conditions that can often be prevented with the proper oral care. Today, we want to talk about gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, or periodontal disease. The Center for Disease Control estimates that half of Americans have periodontal disease – so what is it, and how can we prevent it?
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. Its symptoms include red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis usually isn’t painful, and it is often reversible.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Poor oral hygiene can lead to gingivitis. Without proper cleaning, the bacteria in your mouth can form into plaque, a sticky film that coats teeth, causes bad breath, and erodes enamel. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing, it can harden into tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that sticks to teeth and can grow underneath your gum line. Tartar irritates gums, causing them to swell and recede.
How Do We Treat Gingivitis?
Our treatments for gingivitis vary depending on the severity of the issue. At a minimum, we professionally clean your teeth and remove any tartar through a process called scaling. If the gingivitis is more severe, we may use a process called root planning to help your gums reattach to your teeth. If you notice any symptoms like the ones listed above, schedule an appointment with our office. Early detection is key when it comes to treating gingivitis.
How Can I Prevent Gingivitis?
A good oral hygiene routine can limit the buildup of plaque and keep tartar from forming. You should brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, floss each day, and visit our office regularly for cleanings and exams. To ask our team any questions or to schedule your next appointment, contact us today!