Gingivitis is a common gum disease arising from an overabundance of tooth plaque and tartar. Gingivitis treatment must be immediate and proper to prevent long-term dental health issues. Treatment can be administered at a dental office or with correct at-home techniques.
If you’ve noticed that your gums are suffering from inflammation, you likely have gingivitis. This is a common dental issue in America and happens to almost everyone at one time or another. It’s such a frequent issue since it arises from an excess of tooth plaque, or bacteria, on your teeth. Gingivitis is easy to contract if you’re not careful.
Although gingivitis itself isn’t a serious issue, it can lead to a more destructive periodontal disease called periodontitis. This disease is much more dangerous and can even lead to a loss of teeth. Therefore, it’s important to take care of gingivitis as soon as possible before it grows worse.
You may be wondering, “Can gingivitis be reversed?”
Thankfully, catching gingivitis early is often enough to reverse symptoms and stop the progression to periodontitis. So long as the treatment you receive is prompt and proper, you shouldn’t have much trouble in the long term.
You can choose between treatment with the help of a licensed dental professional or take care of gingivitis at home. The latter method follows advice from a dentist with some follow-up after treatment.
A common question amongst patients is “Will Gingivitis Go Away on its Own?”
No; gingivitis must be alleviated through some kind of care. In addition, steps must be taken to ensure it does not return shortly after being cared for.
Professional Dental Care
The best gum disease dentists know exactly how to get rid of gingivitis pain and eliminate the larger problem. At a professional dental care office, the following steps will be taken to eliminate your gingivitis and any accompanying oral health issues:
- Removal of plaque or tartar, which is also called scaling. This is sometimes uncomfortable if your gums are sensitive or if the plaque build-up is very extensive.
- Recommendations of follow-up appointments. This will help ensure that gingivitis doesn’t come back.
- Repair of damaged teeth. Since damaged teeth can lower oral hygiene, dental professionals will often help repair other dental injuries to reduce gingivitis likelihood.
- Fix other issues. Any other tooth problems, such as improperly fitted crowns or crooked teeth, will be looked at and remedied to make the removal of plaque and tartar easier.
By completing the above steps, your dental care professional will both eliminate the immediate gingivitis risk and attempt to prevent further long-term complications from arising.
Following at-home treatment plans, patients will:
- Brush their teeth twice daily. This reduces the level of surface plaque and tartar on the teeth.
- Use an electric toothbrush. This is much more effective and efficient at brushing teeth than traditional manual toothbrushes.
- Floss teeth daily. Flossing removes food and plaque from between the teeth and near the gums.
- Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash regularly. This reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth and lowers the amount of plaque and tartar.
Following these steps perfectly is necessary to eliminate the risk of gingivitis returning or symptoms persisting. Follow-up visits to your dental healthcare professional will see that all of the above steps are being followed correctly to ensure results.
Causes of gingivitis can vary, but the most common cause is an overabundance of bacterial plaque around and between your teeth. Daily activity and eating cause this plaque build-up naturally.
The plaque itself is made by colonizing bacteria that sticks to the smooth surfaces of your teeth. It’s not an issue in and of itself since some plaque can prevent harmful microorganisms from latching onto your teeth instead.
However, while some plaque is normal and can be removed easily, an excessive amount is not and can lead to an immune response in your mouth. This immune response will destroy your gum tissue to lower the amount of plaque and bacteria around your teeth.
In addition, plaque that isn’t regularly removed can turn yellow as it hardens into tartar at the base of your teeth. This tartar, otherwise known as calculus, can only be removed by a dental professional, so preventing your plaque from reaching this stage is ideal.
Poor dental hygiene can be exacerbated by things like a poor diet, smoking, drugs, or genetic likeliness of gum disease. Check your family history to see if you’re particularly at risk for contracting gingivitis.
Signs and Symptoms
If you’re not sure if you have gingivitis, check for these symptoms:
- Tender or sensitive gums that are painful when touched
- Gums that are bright red or purple in color
- Gums that bleed whenever you brush or floss them
- Gums that recede from your teeth, exposing their bases or roots
- Inflammation, or swelling, of the gums
- Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis
Treatment of gingivitis is imperative. Without prompt treatment, gum disease will grow worse and can spread to affect other types of tissue. It can even spread to affect your teeth and the bones in your mouth, causing further pain and other complications.
Complications derived from a lack of gingivitis treatment include:
- Periodontitis, which can lead to a loss of bone density and teeth
- Gum infections
- Jaw bone infections
- Ongoing, or recurrent, gingivitis
- Trench mouth, or a bacterial infection that leads to the ulceration of the gums
If you suffer from any of these effects or conditions, you should also know that they are linked to cardiovascular diseases such as strokes or heart attacks. Lung disease risk has also been correlated with the above complications in certain studies.
Take care to examine your other current health risks if you have healthy gums but still suffer from these issues.
Overall, gingivitis is a minor dental health issue that can be corrected if caught in time and treatment is administered promptly and correctly. Failing to treat gingivitis as soon as possible can lead to further negative complications and extended discomfort, with potentially irreversible damage to dental health.
To avoid these outcomes, contact A-Dental Center and book your appointment today. Our North Hollywood Dentists are professionals who will provide you with the treatment and care you need to alleviate your symptoms. We’ll also give you the tools necessary to prevent gingivitis from returning. When it comes to dental financing and insurance, we’ll work with you to both take care of your dental problems and keep things affordable. Contact us today!