Are your gums red, puffy, painful, or irritated? Does brushing and flossing your teeth only seem to make the problems you are experiencing with your gums worse? If so, you may be suffering from the common, relatively mild form of gum disease called “gingivitis.” But what is gingivitis? Is it important that you treat it? And how can you prevent and manage it? Look no further than Zeal Dentistry. The team at Zeal Dentistry has a long history of identifying and helping patients deal with gingivitis.
What Is Gingivitis: A Primer
Identifying gingivitis is not especially complicated, but it can be difficult if you are not sure precisely what it is. It will be useful to start with the very basics. Then move on to the common causes and ways to prevent the condition.
In its simplest terms, gingivitis is an inflammation of the gingiva. This is more commonly referred to as the gums. It most often occurs at the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums. Gingivitis is a widespread condition, and with the proper information and tools, it is almost always straightforward to treat. That said, if left untreated, it can also lead to tooth loss and other complications.
Additionally, the early phases of gingivitis can be difficult for an individual to identify. Indeed, by the time that you have started asking yourself, “What is gingivitis?” you may already have a more advanced case. This possibility is one of the many reasons that it is crucial to see an experienced dentist, like the ones at Zeal Dentistry, regularly.
Causes and Treatment
As researchers at the Mayo Clinic have confirmed, gingivitis is the result of plaque build-up at the gum line, and so its causes are similar to those of tooth decay. When you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, they tend to stay on your teeth. This process allows a sticky film full of bacteria — plaque — to thrive on the teeth and gums. These bacteria produce acids that cause gingivitis and tooth decay. Plaque hardens into tartar, which causes damage to the teeth and gums. Also, tartar must be removed professionally.
Let’s be very clear: the best treatment for gingivitis is prevention. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet low in simple carbohydrates like sugary drinks is an integral part of avoiding gingivitis, as is regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings and check-ups at your dentist.
If you suspect that you are currently suffering from gingivitis, you should see your dentist immediately. They will provide a treatment plan that will include consistent basic oral hygiene, and also may suggest a special toothpaste or mouthwash that will target the gingivitis more aggressively.
Schedule Your Appointment at Zeal Dentistry Today
Gingivitis can be very treatable when you and your dentist identify it early. If ignored, however, it can turn into a far more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, which often leads to tooth loss. If you have been wondering, “What is gingivitis?” and wondering whether you are suffering from it, it is worth taking the time to consult an experienced dentist to confirm that your symptoms are consistent with the condition. Dr. Raina and the team at Zeal Dentistry have years of experience helping patients who suffer from gingivitis to make sure that their condition does not worsen. Make an appointment today using our convenient dental appointment form or by calling 415.792.4771 and make gingivitis a thing of the past!