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Posted on: July 22, 2020
Gingivitis: Symptoms and Causes in Sweetwater, FL
What Causes Gingivitis and Are There Symptoms?
The major cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, but you may have gingival disease and be unaware of it because it usually starts with no symptoms. However, if you’ve begun to have bad breath or you notice bleeding when you brush or floss, then you may have gum disease, and these two symptoms are early indicators of it. Continue reading to learn more about this serious but easily preventable disease.
Can I Prevent the Formation of Periodontal Disease?
Although not foolproof, the easiest method for preventing the onset of gingivitis is to adopt a daily regimen of good oral hygiene. Brush and floss at least twice each day and have regular dental checkups. Be sure to ask your dentist to recommend the procedures you should follow for optimum oral health.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, according to the CDC, and they report that almost half of those who are at least 30 years old have it—and more than 70 percent of those 65 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. The incidence is higher in men and increases with age. Left untreated, it can wreak havoc on both your oral health and your physical health, so it shouldn’t be ignored.
After you eat or drink, especially foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar, the bacteria in your mouth latch onto the food particles and begin to form bacteria-laden plaque. When not removed through brushing and flossing, the plaque will settle in the crevices between your teeth and gum and more bacteria will form. When the plaque remains on the teeth for a long time, then it turns into tartar, which is a very hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional. If your teeth feel fuzzy, then you need to brush and floss. Plaque is responsible for the fuzzy feeling and it means that your teeth are coated in bacteria and gum disease is forming.
If gum disease isn’t treated, it will ultimately lead to destruction of the bone and tissue that support your teeth, causing the teeth to fall out. This is easily preventable with a regimen of good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, so be sure to visit your dentist regularly.
What Symptoms Indicate That I Have Gingivitis?
There may be no symptoms indicating that you have gingivitis, which is why you need professional checkups. Your dentist can recognize the signs of gum disease and take steps to prevent it from advancing to a more serious stage. When treated early, gingivitis has an excellent prognosis.
What Factors Contribute to the Formation of Gingivitis?
Not brushing and flossing regularly allow gingivitis to form. However, since the disease often has no symptoms or pain, you may not know you have it unless you’re looking for warning signs. Healthy gums should be a light pink color and they should fit securely around your teeth. If you notice loose gums or they’re not pink, you should consult your dentist. Other indicators include:
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Bleeding during flossing or brushing
- Red or purple gums
- Enlarged spaces between your teeth
- Loosened teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Perpetual bad breath
- Receding gums
- Sensitive or swollen gums
How Will I Know If I Am Developing Gingivitis?
The best method for determining if you’re developing gingivitis is to ask your dentist, particularly if you’re in one of the following risk categories. If you have:
- A bridge, filling, dental appliance or any type of reconstructive dentistry, especially any that fit poorly or are defective
- Diabetes, HIV/AIDS or any other health condition that lowers your immunity
- Fluctuations in your hormones
- Inadequate nutrition, especially if your diet lacks vitamin C
- Medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, that have dry mouth as a side effect
- A tobacco habit, whether you smoke it or chew it
Any of these additional risk factors can cause gingivitis even if you have good oral hygiene habits, so be sure to have regular dental checkups.
Can Gingivitis Adversely Affect Your Overall Health?
Gingival disease has been linked to many other serious diseases, including:
- Arterial stroke: Those with periodontal disease were found to have a higher incidence of stroke due to arterial blockage to the brain than those who had other types of strokes.
- Cardiac diseases: Research has found a link between the incidence of cardiac disease and gingival disease.
- Diabetes: Diabetics who have either poorly controlled or uncontrolled blood glucose levels have a higher incidence of gingival disease than those whose blood glucose levels are under control. This is in addition to the renal disease, neural damage, and loss of vision that often occur to diabetics.
- Lung disease: The normal respiration process can transmit bacteria from the mouth to the lungs and can cause lung diseases, according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).
- Various cancers: The AAP reports that men who had periodontal disease were 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, 49 percent more likely to develop renal cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers than men with good oral health.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The treatment for periodontal disease will depend, in part, on the stage of the disease. Early-stage gingivitis may be treated with good oral hygiene and a dental cleaning. Later stages may require a deep cleaning, which involves scaling and root planing that removes tartar and plaque that have accumulated below the gumline.
If you need to schedule a dental checkup, call our office today. Or, you can use our convenient online booking tool, but either way, make an appointment. Let us help you enjoy good oral health. We look forward to working with you.