What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It’s caused by the build-up of plaque and bacteria on and around your teeth, leading to irritation, redness and swelling. A common, mild form of gum disease, gingivitis can often go unnoticed and its symptoms can be painless. Since it’s possible to be unaware you have gingivitis, excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential. If gingivitis is diagnosed, it’s easily treatable and potentially reversible, stopping the progression of gum disease in its tracks.
Signs and symptoms
Whilst gingivitis isn’t always obvious initially, as the condition of your gums deteriorate, you may experience:
- Bad breath (halitosis) that doesn’t go away even after brushing.
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing your teeth.
- Red, swollen gums.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food.
- Tenderness or pain when you’re eating food.
These symptoms should not be ignored. Left untreated, gingivitis can cause irreversible damage to the tissues and bone that support your teeth.
Who is at risk for developing gingivitis?
Whilst gingivitis is very common, experienced by over half of all adults over the age of 30 in the UK, you may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Risk factors include:
- Smoking and tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.
- Genetics and a family history of gum disease.
- Pregnancy or other hormonal changes which may affect oral health.
- Poor nutrition and obesity.
- Some prescription and over-the-counter medications can reduce the flow of saliva and result in the contribution to developing gingivits.
If you have any concerns about your gum health, make an enquiry today.
Treatment of gingivitis
Unlike more advanced gum disease, gingivitis is completely curable as long as it is treated early enough. It’s important you schedule an appointment with your dentist or periodontist as soon as you notice any of the symptoms. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress and become periodontitis, leading to the deterioration of the bone and tissue that secure your teeth in place. At this stage of gum disease it becomes incurable and treatment aims to maintain the bone and tissue as much as possible to avoid complete tooth loss.
Gum health is the foundation to a beautiful smile
Regular visits to your hygienist are crucial to keeping your gums and teeth healthy. If you have any concerns about your gum health, book your consultation today with London’s leading periodontist practice, led by Dr Neesha Patel.
Prevention of gingivitis
Everybody can reduce their risk of developing gingivitis with good oral hygiene:
- Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss to remove bacteria between your teeth.
- Be mindful in your consumption of food and drink containing alcohol and excess sugar.
- Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products.
- Manage diabetes if you suffer from the condition.
- Visit your dentist or periodontist annually for check ups and more often if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gingivitis.
Find out more about Pure Periodontics.