Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, is one of the most common dental health problems. It is characterized by inflammation of the gum tissue, but many people don’t realize they have gingivitis because the disease doesn’t cause pain in its initial stages. Failure to treat it can lead to a more severe infection, known as periodontitis. Splendid Dental Care Bellaire provides specialized oral healthcare services to help you diagnose, treat, and prevent gum disease.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Poor oral hygiene is the most significant cause of gingivitis as it allows food particles to build up on teeth. These particles then mix with saliva and bacteria to form a sticky film around the gum line referred to as plaque. Minerals in the saliva can combine with plaque to form tartar, a rough and crusty substance. Failure to get rid of tartar through professional dental cleaning can lead to an infection that irritates the gum and causes gingivitis.
Gingivitis Risk Factors
Anyone who fails to observe proper oral hygiene can develop gum disease, but some aspects make some people more prone to the condition. For instance, hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy and puberty, increase gum sensitivity and inflammation risk. Also, some medications reduce the flow of saliva and lead to a dry mouth. The absence of enough moisture in the mouth may encourage bacteria to thrive and increase tartar formation.
Some health issues like leukemia and HIV/AIDS weaken immunity and make it challenging for the body to fight harmful bacteria. Other than that, some poor-fitting dental appliances reduce the effectiveness of teeth cleaning and encourage plaque formation. Other gingivitis risk factors include:
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Poor nutrition such as insufficient vitamin C
- Older age
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Mild gingivitis rarely causes noticeable discomfort or pain, and one may not suspect that they are suffering from the condition. Hence, it is essential to regularly visit a dentist for general dental exams to help diagnose any oral health problem.
The symptoms of gingivitis may vary in severity and nature, depending on the level of infection. One of the most common signs is swelling and an increase in gum tenderness. The gum tissue may also change color to purple or bright red then bleed during brushing and flossing.
In severe cases, gingivitis can damage the gum and cause a recession, making teeth appear longer than usual. More signs of this condition include:
- A change in how teeth fit together when biting
- Pain when chewing or brushing
- Persistent mouth odor
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Flabby teeth
- Increased teeth and gum sensitivity
Treating Gum Disease
After identifying any sign of gingivitis, it is vital to visit a dentist for diagnosis and treatment. A specialist can conduct a comprehensive dental exam to determine if a patient has a gum infection. They may also ask questions to learn if one experiences any other symptoms not noted in the tests.
In case a dentist diagnoses a patient with gum disease, they will apply and recommend various periodontic treatments. For example, they can insert small antibiotic tablets in the gum pockets and use antiseptic chips to relieve swelling. The patient will also need to take oral antibiotics and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to kill harmful bacteria. Once the gums heal, those suffering from gum recession and bone loss might undergo oral surgery for grafting.
Get Professional Services at Splendid Dental Care Bellaire
Professional teeth cleaning and flossing can remove plaque and tartar, helping you avoid oral health problems. At Splendid Dental Care Bellaire, we provide oral healthcare services to help you prevent and treat gum disease. Some of these services include teeth cleaning and whitening, dental exams, and fitting implants. Our specialists will also educate you on identifying the symptoms of gingivitis and observing good oral hygiene. Contact Splendid Dental Care Bellaire today at 832.365.4860 to book an appointment.