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What is Gingivitis?

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What is Gingivitis?

Jun 3, 2024
What is Gingivitis

Gingivitis is one of the most common oral health issues in the United States today. However, many people who have gingivitis are unaware that they have it, and instead learn to live with the unpleasant symptoms. This can greatly diminish the quality of life of those who live with gingivitis, leading to further health complications down the line.  

Fortunately, gingivitis is very treatable with help from your dentist. Sometimes the solution is as simple as re-establishing a strong oral health routine. Other times, more direct treatment is needed from a medical professional. 

In this post, we will discuss gingivitis. We will include the causes of gingivitis, its symptoms, and some treatment options. Keep reading to learn more! 

dental chair

Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment 


Gingivitis is a gum disease characterized by inflamed gums. Those with gingivitis will experience red, swollen gums, light bleeding from the gums, and general oral discomfort.

It is essential to understand the causes and symptoms of gingivitis to prevent and treat this condition effectively. This includes regular visits to the dentist and a strong oral health routine. 

Below we will look at some of the causes of gingivitis, how you can know if you have gingivitis, and how you can treat your gingivitis.  


What Causes Gingivitis? 


Gingivitis, a common form of gum disease, is a result of a few different factors. The primary cause is poor oral hygiene. This includes not brushing and flossing regularly, allowing bacteria to build up and form plaque on the teeth and gums.  

Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, are other major factors that increase the risk of gingivitis. Smoking weakens the immune system and restricts blood flow to the gums, making them more susceptible to infection. 

Stress also plays a role in the development of gingivitis. When stress levels are high, the body's ability to fight off infection is compromised, making it easier for bacteria to cause gum inflammation. Hormonal changes, particularly during pregnancy or menopause, can lead to gingivitis as hormonal fluctuations make the gums more sensitive and prone to inflammation. 

Certain medications, such as anticonvulsants and immunosuppressants, can also contribute to gingivitis. These medications can disrupt the balance of oral bacteria, leading to gum inflammation and disease. 

It is crucial to maintain a good oral health routine to prevent gingivitis. This includes regular brushing and flossing, using an antibacterial mouthwash, and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoiding smoking and reducing stress levels is also essential to minimize the risk of developing gingivitis. 


What are Symptoms of Gingivitis? 


Common signs of gingivitis include red, swollen, and tender gums. The gums may appear shiny and may bleed easily, particularly while brushing or flossing. Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may also be present. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which involves the loss of bone and tissue supporting the teeth. Which can eventually lead to tooth loss. 

At Kings Dental, our team of experts will begin by performing a visual examination of the gums to check for signs of inflammation or bleeding. A periodontal probe may be used to measure the depth of spaces between the teeth and gums, known as pocket depth. Increased pocket depth is an indication of gum disease progression. X-rays are also commonly used to assess the extent of damage below the gum line. 

Regular dental checkups are essential for detecting and preventing gingivitis. Dental professionals can identify early signs of gum disease and provide necessary treatment. It is vital to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, to prevent the development of gingivitis. Additionally, a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco use can contribute to overall oral health. By taking these preventive measures and seeking professional dental care, individuals can effectively manage and prevent gingivitis. 


How Do I Treat My Gingivitis? 


Treating gingivitis is relatively simple and can be done through a combination of good oral hygiene practices and professional dental treatments. 

The first step in treating gingivitis is to understand the importance of removing plaque from teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums and can cause inflammation and infection.  

In more severe cases, calculus may be present. Calculus, also known as tartar, is hardened plaque that cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing alone. A dental professional can use special tools to remove it safely and thoroughly. 

Brushing your teeth with toothpaste and water is the best way to eliminate plaque and bacteria. It is important to follow your dentist's instructions on the proper brushing technique. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using a gentle circular motion, and not forgetting to clean the gumline. Regular flossing and using an antimicrobial mouthwash can also help reduce plaque buildup and improve oral health. 

In addition to proper oral hygiene, it is crucial to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings. During these visits, your dentist or dental hygienist can thoroughly examine your gums and teeth, remove any remaining calculus, and provide additional recommendations for home care. 

By following these steps, you can effectively treat gingivitis and maintain healthy gums and teeth. Remember, early intervention is key to preventing the progression of gum disease and potential long-term complications. 


Better Oral Care at Kings Dental 


A strong oral health routine is one of the best ways to ensure that your mouth, teeth, and gums are free from disease and complications. Part of this oral health routine is scheduling yearly trips to the dentist. Your dentist not only cleans your teeth, they also assesses your oral health and can diagnose any issues, like gingivitis, that can hamper the quality of your life long term. 

If you are looking for a top-quality team of dentists who use state-of-the-art technology during treatment, then the team at Kings Dental is here for you. We are proud to be Cincinnati's best dental team and serve you for all your oral health needs.  

We offer walk-in and same-day appointments, so if you need a dental check-up, don't delay. Stop by our Montgomery or Mason office today or click here to schedule your appointment now! 

Follow Kings Dental on Facebook for updates and all the latest news on your dental care! 

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