Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness and swelling (inflammation) of your gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. It is often caused by the buildup of plaque. The bacteria from the plaque produces acids that attack tooth enamel and can damage the gums. Other causes of gingivitis include hormonal changes, illnesses, smoking, taking certain medications, bad brushing habits, and genetics. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss.
Gingivitis occurs in 3 out of 4 of Americans, but many people aren’t even aware they have it as it is often painless. Some of the early signs of gingivitis are bright red or purple gums. Other signs include bleeding when brushing or flossing, bad breath, tenderness and inflammation.
The good news is, with proper dental care early on, it can be reversible. Here are a few steps that you can take to prevent the problem and keep your teeth healthy.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time
- Use an electric toothbrush to maximize cleaning
- Replace your toothbrush every three months
- Floss every day
- Use a natural mouthwash
- Visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning
Take the first step to a healthy smile and call our office to book a cleaning today.