12 Feb 2016 Gingivitis: What is it? Is it serious? What should you do about it?
Gingivitis is one of the most common diseases in the world, and almost
every patient will have to deal with it at some point in their life.
Also called gum disease, this condition can wreak havoc on a patient’s
oral health and result in a variety of unwanted side effects ranging
from bad breath to tooth loss. These are just a few of the reasons that
everyone should know how to prevent gingivitis and what they can do to
treat it once it has developed.
Periodontal disease affects patients of all ages and from all walks of
life. The biggest contributing factor to this disease is one’s oral
hygiene habits. Those who fail to brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily
have a very high chance of developing some form of gum disease in their
lifetime. This condition can also develop when an individual’s hormones
change such as during a pregnancy. Other factors that will increase your
risk of gum disease include the use of tobacco products, diabetes,
crooked teeth, immune-deficiencies, and stress.
Preventing Gum Disease
For those who are wondering how to prevent gingivitis, the answer is
actually quite simple. Patients need to have impeccable oral hygiene
habits and continue to visit their dentist at least once or twice a
year. Many patients do not realize that hygiene habits such as brushing
and flossing are not just carried out to protect their teeth. They will
also clean away the bacteria that can attack the gums and lead to a
serious infection. During your annual checkups, the dentist will be able
to remove any lingering pockets of bacteria and inform you of any
changes that you need to make to your hygiene habits.
Most patients will notice at least a few warning signs in the earliest
stages of gingivitis. Minor bleeding while brushing or flossing is
generally not a big problem if it only happens on occasion. When it
happens for a week or longer, however, you might be dealing with
gingivitis. A patient might also notice that their gums are slightly
inflamed or constantly sore throughout the day. Other common side
effects include chronic bad breath, loose teeth, and pain while eating.
Treating Periodontal Disease
Anyone who has gum disease should immediately schedule an appointment
with the dentist to discuss their treatment options. Luckily, many
patients need to do nothing more than improve their oral hygiene habits
after having their teeth professionally cleaned. For severe cases, your
dentist might suggest the use of a prescription mouthwash until all of
the bacteria has been killed off. Once the inflammation has subsided,
patients can return back to their regular brushing and flossing routine.