Posted on: 22 February 2019Share
Almost half of all Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, so you should not be surprised if your dentist tells you that you have gingivitis. Gingivitis is gum disease, but it is the initial stage of the disease, which means it is not as serious as other stages. Even though gingivitis is the mildest form of this disease, it is still a serious issue that you should never ignore. In fact, after finding out that you have this disease, you should do everything you can do to stop the disease from progressing.
How Gum Disease Occurs
Gum disease occurs in stages, and it occurs from bacteria in plaque that is left on your teeth. Plaque is something you must fight off daily, and the best way to do this is through good brushing and flossing habits. Unfortunately, if you do not brush and floss well, you might end up putting your teeth and gums at risk for gingivitis, simply because you are not removing the plaque from your teeth fast enough. When plaque remains too long, the bacteria in it will seep into the gums, and this is really what causes you to develop gingivitis.
When a person has gum disease, they may not even know they have it for a while. Eventually, though, they may begin seeing some of the common signs and symptoms of this disease. Some of the signs of gingivitis include bleeding gums, swollen gums, and gums that are red in color instead of pink. If you notice any of these things and have not visited a dentist for a while, you should plan a visit. The faster you catch the disease and begin treating it, the more likely you are to have a chance at stopping it from progressing.
The Effects If Left Untreated
The good news about gingivitis is that your dentist can treat it and stop it from progressing, but you must detect it soon and get the treatment for it quickly. If you fail to follow through with the necessary treatment for it, the disease will progressively worsen. When left untreated too long, it can actually cause you to lose your teeth, as they will fall out because the gums will no longer be able to hold your teeth in place. A loss of teeth can also occur because gum disease often causes the jawbone in a person's mouth to wear away. Gum disease does not just stay in the top part of the gums. Instead, it keeps moving down, wearing away the gums until it reaches the bone. At that point, it can begin wearing away the bone that you have in your jaw.
How Dentists Treat Gingivitis
The most common way to treat this condition is through a dental procedure called scaling and root planing. This procedure involves scraping all the gum lines in your mouth to remove all the built-up plaque in these areas. This procedure is painful, but your dentist will use anesthesia to help with this.
Your dentist might also recommend using a daily mouthwash to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, your dentist might tell you to switch to a certain type of toothpaste that will also help treat this problem. Finally, you might need to start brushing, flossing, and rinsing more frequently to keep your teeth healthier.
Finding out that you have gum disease might not be the type of news you want to hear, but it is something that is treatable when detected early on. To learn more about gum disease and the treatment options for it, get in touch with a dental clinic such as RTC Dental.