This month we have to decided to discuss gingivitis in more detail, including its causes and symptoms, and how to avoid it.
Gingivitis is a very common and mild form of gum disease. It can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gingiva, which is the gum around the base of the tooth. If not treated in time, it can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss.
Causes of Gingivitis
- Gingivitis is most commonly caused by a build up of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a naturally forming film on your teeth. This film contains bacteria and toxins that can cause irritation to your gums. If this film is not removed by brushing your teeth daily, it will lead to gum disease.
- Smoking can also lead to gum disease… this includes vaping too! Try cut these both out to reduce your chances of getting gingivitis.
- Poor diet can also be factor in getting gum disease. Your diet can greatly affect your oral health. Check out some of our guidelines in relation to your diet, to help you prevent gum disease.
- Hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause can cause sensitive and inflamed gums.
Signs of Gingivitis
Swollen and Tender Gums
The build up of plaque on your teeth can lead to irritation and swelling of your gums. If you notice this happening to your gums, we would suggest you go see your dentist to see if it is the beginning of gum disease.
Bleeding gums can be very common, and can be caused by things such as using a new toothbrush, or beginning to floss your teeth. However, if your gums continue to bleed for longer than 3 days, it could be due to gum disease causing irritated gums to bleed.
Bright Red Gums
Your gums should be a pink and firm. However, a clear sign of gingivitis is red and puffy gums. If you see a change in your gums colouring, you should see your dentist for further investigation.
Have you been getting bad breath recently? Is this bad breath not going away even after you brush your teeth? This is a sign that you may have the start of gum disease.
Do I have Gingivitis?
If you are experiencing any of the above, there is a possibility you have gingivitis. We recommend you see your dentist sooner rather than later to diagnose if it is in fact gingivitis and if so, to start treatment before it progresses any further.
Treating your gingivitis will mean seeing your dentist, but also carrying out your own oral hygiene steps at home. Your dentist will be able to investigate the severity of your gum disease. They will also be able to remove the plaque build up from your teeth. How often you need this done will depend on how bad the build up is, but your dentist will be able to advise on this.
Once this is done, it is essential you improve your dental hygiene routine and ensure you are keeping your teeth clean.
We can’t stress the importance of preventing any form of gum disease, however mild it may be. Preventing gum disease includes having a good oral hygiene routine that includes the following:
- brushing your teeth twice a day
- brushing for 2 minutes each time
- using interdental brushes
- seeing your dentist every 6 months
If you catch gingivitis in its early stages, it is possible to restore your gums to full health, however we would recommend seeing your dentist to get advice and begin treatment as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about gingivitis, please feel free to get in touch with us.