Tag Archives: gum disease

4 Signs of Gingivitis That Should Send You to Your Dentist

You have probably heard of gingivitis before, but you might not know precisely what it is. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the gums around the base of your teeth due to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. It can lead to more severe health risks like Periodontal Disease down the road if untreated. So, how do you know if you have gingivitis and need treatment? Let’s go over the four signs that you might be suffering from gingivitis. 

  1. Bleeding Gums – If your gums bleed during and/or after brushing or flossing, you might have gingivitis. If you don’t floss daily and decide to start, your gums will probably bleed a bit. However, excessive bleeding is a reliable indicator and you should call your dentist right away if you have noticed this symptom, especially if you floss and brush daily.

  2. Tender, Bright Red, or Purple Gums – The bacterial infection can cause the gums to become irritated, causing tenderness and sometimes a bit of pain. Additionally, if your gums are bright red or purple, that’s not a good sign. Take a look at the coloration of your gums in proper lighting to determine if this symptom is present. Extreme tenderness or unusual coloration of the gums are clear signs of gingivitis.

  3. Halitosis – Halitosis, better known as bad breath, can indicate that you have gingivitis. The bacterial infection causes a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, creating a sulphuric odor. You should notice a difference between typical morning breath and the bad breath that occurs when you have gingivitis. Halitosis can happen for several reasons, so you should pay close attention to other symptoms.

  4. Receding or Soft Gums – Receding gums is another sign of gingivitis. The massive plaque buildup damages the gums, causing you to lose the healthy gum tissue. More of your teeth will show, and you’ll notice your gums have “shrunk.” Additionally, soft gums indicate gingivitis. The gums become soft and weakened due to the bacterial infection.

If you have experienced one or a combination of these symptoms, call our office today to schedule an appointment. Remember, taking care of problems now can save you from a more advanced gum disease that can cause significant health risks. To treat gingivitis cases, we offer a deep cleaning procedure and can discuss other options to maintain healthy gums.

Preventing Gum Disease

Did you know that nearly half of all Americans have gum disease? Gum disease, if left unchecked, can lead to bone loss, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Here are some ways you can prevent gum disease and keep your teeth for a long time.

Know the Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. When caught early, gingivitis can be turned around easily to reduce your chances of developing periodontitis, a more advanced stage of the disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include red gums, swelling, bleeding when you floss, and soreness in the gums. If you notice these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist for a professional cleaning.

Brush, Floss, and See Your Dentist Regularly

Gum disease is often caused by not brushing or flossing enough. If bacteria is left to sit on the teeth, it can get under your gumline and cause swelling and soreness. This makes it more difficult to get under the gumline to clean it properly, which causes even more soreness, swelling, and bleeding. It’s a cycle that can only be broken by improving your oral hygiene.

A professional cleaning will remove the plaque and bacteria under the gumline. From there, you’ll need to brush twice daily, floss each night before bed, and, in some cases, use an antibacterial mouthwash. Once your gums go back to normal, it will be easier to keep them clean, so don’t worry if it’s uncomfortable in the days following your cleaning. Just keep brushing and flossing as directed.

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, it’s likely causing gum disease. It’s difficult to quit, but you should do so to reduce the negative health implications. If you’re having trouble quitting, talk to your physician for help. In the meantime, be sure to brush and floss well to minimize the damage.

Watch Your Diet

Eating a lot of sugar and starches (like white bread and potato chips) can cause gum inflammation because the bacteria in your mouth are well-fed by these substances. This causes them to multiply. Also, these types of foods tend to stick to the teeth, causing decay and gum swelling. Be sure to sip water frequently and to eat foods like raw carrots, apples and strawberries to help keep your teeth and gums in good shape.

Seeing your dentist twice per year allows him or her to evaluate you for the early stages of gum disease so you can make changes before it’s too late. If you’re due for an appointment, give us a call!