Many serious mouth and tooth diseases can leave you in pain and wondering when you'll feel normal again. No matter how well you think you're taking care of your teeth, something can always go wrong.
One of these diseases is called gingivitis, and it can wreak havoc on the mouth. What exactly is it, and how can you protect yourself from it?
Here are some of the facts about gingivitis that you should know to keep yourself aware and protected against the disease.
1. Gingivitis Affects the Gums, Not the Teeth
Gingivitis is a specific type of inflammation caused by bacteria that affects the gums around the teeth. As plaque builds up and hardens around the teeth, the bacteria can seep into the surrounding gum tissue and create inflammation and infection. This can then spread from one part of the gumline to the rest of the mouth.
2. Plaque Can't Always be Removed with Teeth Cleaning
As much as we'd like to believe that just brushing and flossing can get rid of all of the plaque buildup and bacteria inside of the mouth, it can't. For a deeper clean, visiting a dentist at least twice per year is necessary to ensure you're teeth are clean.
The special tools dentists use help to break up harder pieces of plaque and keep gingivitis from happening, keeping your teeth healthy and strong.
3. Advanced Gingivitis is Called Peridontitis
Gingivitis is the infection and inflammation of the gum line; once the bacteria starts to infect deeper into the gum tissue, it's called periodontitis, which is a much more serious condition. Periodontitis is the result of the connecting tissue and bone beneath the gums becoming infected. It's important to start treatment of gingivitis as soon as it's spotted so that you can avoid a more serious infection, loss of bone that support your teeth and gum recession.
4. Bleeding Gums Don't Always Equal Gingivitis
While bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis, it's not always the case. If your gums bleed frequently after brushing, you may be just brushing your teeth too hard. Try softening your brushing and see if that helps the bleeding.
If the bleeding continues or if your gums start bleeding spontaneously, you should talk with your doctor about gingivitis.
5. Gingivitis Can be Completely Painless
At times, gingivitis symptoms can be painless, leading to the infected individual not realizing that anything is wrong. It's important to pay attention to the look and feel of your gums and teeth to see if anything could be wrong.
Pay close attention to the color of the gums, as well as the size and shape of your teeth. Reddened gums and the appearance of smaller teeth can be signs of gingivitis, as the gums will become swollen and red when inflamed. It's also good to make a note of bleeding from your gumline.
6. It's Easy to Get Gingivitis
Because of the numerous factors that can lead up to gingivitis, it's an easy infection to get. Gingivitis is caused by:
7. Gingivitis Can Cause Bad Breath
Bad breath, sometimes called halitosis, is a common factor to accompany gingivitis. While this could be because of poor dental hygiene alone, the bacteria causing your gingivitis can also give off a foul odor. If you notice that your breath has grown especially smelly, you may want to take a closer look at your teeth and gums to see if there's a deeper issue than your breath alone.
8. Gingivitis Can Be Transmittable
Does your partner have gingivitis? If so, you may want to avoid kissing them on the mouth for a while, as the bacteria that causes gingivitis can be spread from person to person.
As it is a bacterial infection, the bacteria causing one person's gingivitis is transferable to another individual if their saliva were to enter your mouth.
9. The Damage Done by Gingivitis Can be Reversed
If you've developed gingivitis and have had negative effects on your gumline, don't worry- the progress of gingivitis can be reversed and treated by a dentist if it's discovered early. With proper care, your gum line can go back to its original state as long as the connecting tissue and bone have not been effected.
10. Gingivitis Can Lead to More Serious Health Conditions
Gingivitis can lead to more than just periodontitis. Scientists have shown a link between cases of periodontitis and diabetes, serious heart conditions, stroke, and osteoporosis. If the bacteria that cause gingivitis are left untreated for too long, they are able to get into and infect the rest of the body as well.
Goodbye Gingivitis, Hello Healthy Teeth and Gums
Gingivitis is a very serious medical condition that should be treated right away to avoid further damage to your teeth and gums. Now that you know some of the facts on gingivitis, you can be more ready to prepare yourself and protect your gums against the infection!
Do you need help dealing with gingivitis or periodontitis and aren't sure where to turn?
Be sure to contact us with all of your tooth-related needs, and continue reading our blog for more helpful mouth hygiene tips.
Upland Dental Implant and Orthodontics