You have probably heard the term “gingivitis” in warnings from your dentist or television ads for most of your life. However, while you know it has something to do with gums and poor brushing habits, you may not realize just how damaging this periodontal disease can become. Fortunately, when you make an appointment to see our team at Periodontics Associates, we can often reverse gingivitis before it blossoms into more severe oral disease.
What Is Gingivitis and Why Do I Have It?
Gingivitis is simply inflammation of your gums. This disease is the first red flag that something is not going well with your oral health. Whether you are not brushing and flossing regularly or if you have not had a cleaning from a dentist in many years, plaque may have accumulated on your teeth. This sticky film is primarily made up of bacteria. If you remove plaque on a daily basis, gingivitis is not likely to develop. However, when the plaque remains, it may harden into tartar, which you cannot remove at home. Plaque and tartar build-up lead to an environment high in bacteria. This throws off the healthy ecosystem in your mouth. The bacteria cause the body to respond by producing inflammation. It is this inflammation which causes tissue loss and which can have systemic, body-wide effects.
What Symptoms Are Associated With Gingivitis?
When your gums are healthy, they feel firm when you press on them and display a soft pink color. However, when inflammation occurs, gums tend to appear red, feel soft to the touch, and may look swollen. Contact us the moment your gums appear infected with gingivitis. The sooner we treat you, the less likely you are to experience more debilitating periodontal diseases, which require more advanced treatments. If you’re unsure whether gingivitis is afflicting your mouth, look over the following symptoms for a better understanding of this disease:
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Gums that bleed easily, particularly when brushed or flossed
How Do You Treat Gingivitis?
We can treat gingivitis, which helps prevent future associated problems, such as advanced periodontal disease, gum recession, and cavities. First, we will instruct you how to care for your teeth or implants at home, for this is the cornerstone which supports the long term control of periodontal diseases. If we provide treatment but you do not maintain clean, healthy teeth, the problem will return. At the offices of Periodontics Associates, we realize gingivitis often occurs because you are predisposed to the problem. We will make you feel comfortable and function from a position of empathy.
Seeking treatment or surgery for periodontal disease? Our board-certified periodontists take a compassionate approach to periodontal care, and will spend time getting to know you rather than hurrying out of the exam room. Schedule a visit with our team at Periodontics Associates today to review your treatment options with Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson in our Lafayette office, or with Dr. Comeaux at our Opelousas satellite office. Please contact us if you have any questions.