Gingivitis: Causes and Treatments
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the first, more common and treatable stage of gum disease. The problem is caused by a build-up of plaque - which, in its hardened state, is called tartar or calculus.
Though easy to treat at this stage - in fact, gingivitis is usually entirely reversible - if left, the problem can worsen and become periodontitis. This form of gum disease is a much more serious issue that affects the bone that supports your teeth, and can take oral surgery to rectify.
What are the symptoms?
The symptom of this more mild form of gum disease is typically bleeding during or after cleaning or flossing your teeth, along with occasional cases of bad breath or halitosis. You might also notice red or swollen gums.
These are all tell-tale signs that you should visit your dentist to get some expert advice on how to rectify the situation before it gets into a worse, more painful and irreversible state.
How can I treat and prevent gingivitis?
Quite simply, good oral hygiene is the best way of both preventing and treating gingivitis. Following recommended guidelines to brush twice a day, and floss at least once a day, can prevent the initial build-up of plaque, which means there's much less bacteria in your mouth to cause gum disease. Your dentist might also be able to recommend a good, bacteria-fighting mouth wash to you.
Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are also a great way of preventing gingivitis in the first instance. Having a scale and polish treatment will assist in the deep removal of food, plaque and tartar build up both on the tooth, and below the gum line. Recurring check-ups will also allow your dentist to keep an eye on your overall oral health, which means any potential issues could be raised with you sooner.
Thankfully, gingivitis is highly treatable, but always consult with a dentist if you have any concerns.