Gingivitis is an inflammation of gum tissue and can indicate the onset of gum disease. There are various symptoms, but the definitive way to get a diagnosis is by a visit with your family dentist. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a check-up may be indicated:
Red, swollen gums – Healthy gum tissue is pink and firm. If gums are enflamed or appear puffy, this is a sign that something is wrong.
Bleeding gums – Brushing too firmly with a hard bristle brush can result in bleeding gum tissue. If gums only bleed due to provocation, consider a soft bristle brush and less pressure. Teeth don’t need to be scrubbed to clean them sufficiently. You might consider an electronic tooth brush as they are a great tool in resolving many of the problems associated with aggressive brushing.
Receding gums – Often associated with harsh brushing, gum tissue that is pulling away from teeth is also a symptom of gum disease.
Discomfort – May be present.
Chronic bad breath – Certain aromatic foods and strong beverages can result in halitosis. But when bad breath is prevalent after brushing or using mouthwash, a more serious condition may be developing.
If one or all of these symptoms are present, you are at risk for developing the next stage of gingivitis: periodontitis. When gum disease reaches this stage and immediate care is not rendered, tooth loss is possible.
Gum disease does not have to be an all or nothing event – it may affect one or two teeth, an entire quadrant, a whole arch, or your entire mouth may be involved. Tooth loss in any number can have a life altering effect on your day to day living:
Diet – You may have to resort to a soft diet. Trying to chew without one or more teeth can eliminate many foods you like to consume.
Speech – Speaking patterns rely on tongue, teeth, lips and palate to work in unison. Tooth loss can make pronouncing certain sounds difficult.
Self-confidence – Eating, speaking and smiling in public can be embarrassing following tooth loss.
Gum disease and tooth loss is preventable. Do not smoke, brush and floss daily, and see your dentist every six months to help maintain great dental and overall health. If you’re concerned you might be suffering with gingivitis, contact our family dentistry team today!