You may have heard of gingivitis, but do you know what causes it? Gingivitis is a mild form of gum (periodontal) disease caused by bacterial (plaque and tartar) build-up on and in between the teeth and gums. When periodontal-disease causes bacteria overgrows in the mouth, this harmful bacteria attacks dental enamel and gum tissue. Consequently, the body triggers an autoimmune response, which causes the symptoms of gingivitis (redness and irritation).
Preventing gingivitis is key to maintaining a healthy smile. However, it can be challenging to avoid gum disease if you have false information. In this blog, we will dispel five common myths about gingivitis.
The first line of defense against gum disease is consistent, at-home oral habits. An excellent oral hygiene routine entails brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Nevertheless, even with the best oral hygiene, it is still possible to develop gum disease. Research suggests that genetics may play a significant role in developing gum disease despite optimal oral care. For this reason, it’s important to schedule regular dental cleanings to prevent gingivitis from leading to periodontal disease.
Don’t forget—gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. For many, the symptoms of gingivitis go undetected. Once gingivitis gets worse, the more obvious signs of gum disease start to present, such as:
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Gum recession
- Bad breath
- Gums that bleed easily after brushing or flossing
Even if your gums don’t feel that sensitive or look that inflamed, it could still be the beginning stages of periodontal disease. Again, gingivitis often goes unnoticed. However, dental professionals are trained to detect the warning signs of gum disease before it’s too late.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly half of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. Unfortunately, the risk of developing gum disease only increases with age. For this reason, it’s crucial to catch the early signs of gum disease.
Gingivitis is caused by inflamed gum tissue, and gingival inflammation can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Gum disease can have devastating effects on your overall wellness, such as an increased risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney disease
- Lung inflammation and infections
- Fertility issues
Fortunately, this is untrue. Gingivitis can be reversed with scaling and root planing. To restore your oral health, a dental hygienist will remove the plaque from the teeth, around the gum line, and even under the gumline. Inflammation can eventually reside when combined with proper daily oral hygiene and frequent professional dental cleanings.
However, if gingivitis exacerbates without treatment, and can transform into irreversible periodontal disease. A dentist can only closely monitor and manage the adverse effects of periodontal disease.
Preventative dentistry options, such as dental cleanings and scaling and root planing, keep you and your mouth healthy. Dr. Russell Cureton and his devoted team provide patients with personalized care. Don’t wait until the symptoms of gum disease are pronounced and permanent—schedule a dental exam and cleaning today. Call us at (831) 449-8363 or send us a message online to start caring for your gums.