Gingivitis, which is the mildest form of gum disease, usually can be readily treated with a professional cleaning when it’s detected early. If the patient postpones seeing a dentist about the issue, though, it can progress into periodontitis, a more severe stage of gum disease that has more serious consequences. To reduce your risk of tooth loss, bone loss and other negative effects of advanced gum disease, you should monitor your gum tissue for the symptoms of gingivitis so that you can seek treatment promptly.
The following issues may indicate the presence of gingivitis:
- redness in the gums
- swollen or puffy gums
- Gums that bleed, even during brushing and/or flossing
- Bad breath (due to the buildup of bacteria associated with gingivitis)
Your dentist may notice these symptoms at your semiannual exam, but it’s also important for you to keep tabs on your gums in the six months in between so that you can schedule an appointment for gingivitis evaluation and treatment if necessary.
The oral care routine you establish at home is an important tool in reducing your risk of gingivitis, as well.
The oral care routine you establish at home is an important tool in reducing your risk of gingivitis, as well. Brushing and flossing helps to minimize the plaque buildup that contributes to gingivitis. Proper technique is essential here as well. If you are not brushing thoroughly along the gumline, you can still accumulate plaque in the area. Check in with one of our hygienists if you need a refresher on good tooth brushing technique.
When you have gingivitis, your dentist may ask about other risk factors, such as smoking, medication side effects and dietary factors that can affect your case. You may be advised on these issues, as well.
After you’ve experienced one episode of gingivitis, you may face increased risk for a relapse. Therefore, you and your practitioners should continue to be vigilant about examining the gums for gingivitis symptoms so that you can take action quickly if you have a recurrence.
When you notice signs of gingivitis, contact the office of Dr. John B. Morris at 269-979-1500 as soon as possible to schedule an evaluation and cleaning. Putting off this important task could cause your oral health to suffer.