Gingivitis – Take Control Now and Prevent Tooth Loss Later
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums (gingiva). Unlike more advanced forms of periodontal disease, it doesn’t destroy the involved tissues. However, if left untreated, it often progresses to periodontitis, which is more severe and could lead to premature tooth loss. You may not notice a mild case until it becomes advanced and threatens your teeth; this is one reason why it is important to get regular dental check-ups. When treated early with an increase in dental care measures and antiseptic mouth rinse, many cases can be reversed before permanent damage occurs.
Common Symptoms and Signs of Gingivitis
Signs of early gum disease include the following:
- Bright red or purple gums
- Painful, tender gums
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Receding gums or teeth that appear progressively longer
Causes of Gum Disease
Most cases of early gum disease are caused by the accumulation of dental plaque and tartar on tooth surfaces, between teeth, and around the gum line. Other risk factors include smoking, hormonal changes, family history, and certain diseases and medications.
Gingivitis Care and Treatment
Early gingivitis is often reversible with diligent care. First, accumulated plaque and tartar must be removed by a deep cleaning or scaling. The procedure is not painful, but it may be uncomfortable if your diseased gums are tender. Next, your dentist will help you optimize your dental care routine to keep plaque at bay. If you have orthodontic problems such as crooked teeth that interfere with your oral hygiene, you may need to get them treated so you can clean your teeth thoroughly. In some cases, your dentist may recommend medicated mouth rinses or other antimicrobial products to help fight infection. Therapeutic dental cleanings may be repeated if necessary.
Potential Complications of Gum Disease
When early gum disease is not addressed in time, the following serious complications may develop:
- Tooth loss
- Ulceration of gums
- Gingival abscess or infection
- Abscess or infection of the jawbone
- Possible increased risk of cardiovascular or lung disease
To avoid complications and costly, invasive treatments for gum disease, keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist in Waldorf on a regular basis.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Waldorf, call Drs. Lasher and Harriman at Dental One Associates of Waldorf today at (301) 861-0665 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Waldorf. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Drs. Lasher and Harriman at Dental One Associates of Waldorf, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Drs. Lasher and Harriman at Dental One Associates of Waldorf.