Puffy, red, and irritated gums are the last thing you want to detract from an otherwise great smile. Maintaining good oral hygiene is not only important to keep your pearly whites white, but also for gum health and preventing gingivitis. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease and although it is fairly common, it can lead to more serious issues with your gums and teeth if it goes untreated.
Taking care of your teeth is important, but don’t forget to give equal attention to your gums. Serious gum disease, called periodontitis, could lead to tooth loss, so it is essential to keep your gums healthy and prevent gingivitis.
Typically gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene, which makes the perfect environment on your teeth and gums for plaque to grow. Plaque is primarily composed of bacteria, which sticks and hides on your teeth. In order to avoid plaque, it is necessary to brush your teeth two or more times a time and floss at least once a day.
If plaque is not removed by brushing or flossing after two or three days it can form tartar, which is essentially a shield for plaque that traps in bacteria and can irritate your gums. Once tartar is formed it is very difficult to get rid of without the help of a dental professional. This bacteria and subsequent irritation of the gums causes gingivitis. With poor gum health and gingivitis you can expect to see swollen gums that bleed easily.
Poor oral hygiene and gum health are not the only causes of gingivitis. There are other things that increase your chances of getting gingivitis like smoking, taking certain medications, not eating healthy, and doing drugs. Additionally old age, a vulnerable immune system, and dry mouth could also increase your risk of poor gum health and gingivitis. If you’ve had issues in the past there’s a greater chance gingivitis could become a reoccurring problem.
What Are The Symptoms?
Because gingivitis is rarely painful and can have fairly hidden symptoms, it can often be hard to spot. If you notice puffy and swollen gums that bleed easily you could have gingivitis. Also keep an eye out for receding or tender gums, gums that are redder than usually, or bad breath.
How To Avoid Gingivitis
Gingivitis and other gum health concerns are most commonly related to oral hygiene. The easiest way to prevent gingivitis and keep your gums healthy is to keep your mouth (and body) as a whole healthy. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and going to regular dental checkups are all a part of practicing good dental hygiene. Switching to an electric toothbrush or using mouthwash can also help. Consistency is key with gum health – make sure you continue practicing good oral hygiene even if your gums seem healthy because if poor hygiene habits return, gingivitis is likely to do the same.
If you want to learn more about gingivitis or if you wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Annapolis Family Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! Our diligent knowledge of all dental treatments and extensive experience in all fields of dentistry, ensure Annapolis Dental is best suited to care for your oral health. You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.