Getting the Facts About Gingivitis
Gingivitis, or gum disease, is a common dental affliction that occurs when the gums become inflamed. Although gum disease can lead to serious repercussions for your dental health, it is also one of the most preventable dental conditions. If you suspect that you may have gingivitis, scheduling a visit to your dental office is the best way to evaluate your oral health and halt gum disease in its tracks.
The Cause of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is an infection of the gum tissue caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. Over time, plaque on your teeth hardens into a substance called tartar, which irritates the gums and leads to gingivitis. Thus, the most common cause of gingivitis is a lack of regular daily oral care, such as flossing and brushing, which removes plaque from the teeth and along the gum line before it can harden into tartar.
The Progression of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage in gum disease. While gingivitis only causes superficial changes in the gums, such as swelling, tenderness, and bleeding, it will progress to later stages of this disease if left untreated. The symptoms of gingivitis can be reversed with proper dental care, but if this condition is allowed to persist, it can cause lasting damage to the gums and teeth.
The Prevention of Gingivitis
The easiest way to prevent gingivitis is to floss your teeth once a day and brush your teeth twice a day. Visiting your dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings is another effective step in gingivitis prevention, as only professional dental tools can remove hardened tartar from the teeth. As soon as you notice any changes in your gums, schedule a dental visit for an exam and cleaning.
John Carson, DDS, can help you fight gingivitis with advanced active and supportive therapy for gum disease. You can schedule your next dental exam or make an appointment to discuss your concerns with Dr. Carson by calling (520) 514-7203. Our website also contains more information and tips on dental care, including how to develop good dental habits at every age.