Gum disease is a progressive condition that presents in various stages. The mildest form is gingivitis, which primarily consists of inflamed gums.
Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up along the gumline and causes inflammation in the tissue. The main tell-tale symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums that bleed during brushing.
Although some patients will detect the signs of gingivitis on their own, others may not recognize that they have developed the condition until they have an examination by a dentist.
Fortunately, gingivitis typically responds very well to simple interventions, such as professional cleanings, which are highly effective in stopping gingivitis in its tracks. This is why scheduling semiannual checkups and cleanings with your dentist is so important.
When you do not see a dentist for treatment of gingivitis, the condition can progress into periodontitis or advanced gum disease, both of which can lead to more severe problems and are more difficult to address.
It’s important to be aware of the signs of gingivitis so that you can schedule a cleaning before you develop more severe forms of gum disease. As periodontal disease progresses, you may face the risk of losing teeth or even jawbone material.
Furthermore, scientific research has linked advanced gum disease with an array of systemic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Periodontal disease may also be related to a number of problems in pregnancy.
If you’ve already experienced an episode of gingivitis, you can take steps to prevent a recurrence. Be sure to follow a strict home oral hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing.
Your brushing technique is important, too. For the best results, you should angle your toothbrush at around 45 degrees when brushing along the gumline. Some patients find electric toothbrushes helpful in keeping plaque at bay, as well.
Smokers who have been treated for gingivitis may also have extra motivation for kicking the habit. Giving up cigarettes can also cut a patient’s risk of developing gum disease.
Be on the lookout for signs of gingivitis and schedule an appointment in our office if you spot them. Not only can we treat the problem, we can also make recommendations for preventive care in the future. Contact Travis Walk Dental Care, serving Highland Park and the surrounding areas, at 214-522-4330 to schedule your next visit.