Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a term that covers a range of conditions linked to inflammation of the tissues surrounding your teeth and is experienced by millions of people. This oral health condition can lead to serious issues including lost teeth and infections that spread to other parts of the body, but it isn’t one that surfaces overnight. Familiarizing yourself with the early signs is the most effective way to avoid the dangers that come with serious cases.
Gingivitis: The Earliest Stage of Periodontal Disease
The mildest form of gum disease is known as gingivitis, a condition that is believed to effect around one in two people at some stage in their lives. While the negative impacts are largely associated with one’s appearance, rather than pain, early cases can go unnoticed. Leaving the issue untreated will lead to severe cases of periodontitis. This is the stage where tooth loss and other major troubles can develop.
Gingivitis can affect anybody at any stage of life, but the likelihood can be elevated by several issues including;
- Reduced immunity
- Poor nutrition
- Some medication
- Misaligned teeth
- Problematic mouth appliances
While all of these issues, as well as hormonal changes, can play a role, the biggest culprit behind gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. When plaque isn’t effectively removed from the tooth surface, it hardens into tartar, which will inflame the gums due to harmful bacteria and toxins. Infection will soon follow.
Gingivitis: Symptoms & Prevention
Periodontitis is likely to generate pain and discomfort, but gingivitis often goes undetected by sufferers due to a lack of those symptoms. Nonetheless, there are several key indicators that suggest the presence of gingivitis. They include;
- Gum bleeding when brushing
- Swollen gums
- Redness of the gums
- Gum tenderness
- Mouth sores
- Bad breath
Most of those issues can be associated with other conditions too. Nonetheless, gingivitis is one of the more common sources, which is why any of those symptoms should be seen as an incentive to seek treatment.
In the meantime, though, gingivitis can be prevented through good oral hygiene. This should involve brushing twice per day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Meanwhile, it’s imperative that you change your brushes (or brush heads) as soon as they show signs of requiring replacement. In tandem with good care at home, regular dental cleanings are important as well.
While naturally developing plaque can be removed through good oral hygiene practices, tartar will not be removed from tooth surfaces by home treatments. Therefore, it is essential to see a professional dental hygienist, who can remove all plaque and tartar through a process known as scaling.
The deep clean scaling can reverse the damage of gingivitis, but this needs to be followed by improved dental hygiene and the use of prescription toothpastes or mouthwashes, as well as visits to the dentist at least twice per year. In severe cases of gingivitis, several scaling appointments may be required to remove all of the tartar, particularly when multiple teeth are affected with deep calculus.
Gingivitis can return, though, which is why ongoing oral hygiene is essential for beating the early signs of periodontal disease.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you have noticed early signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment to address the issue today. We look forward to helping you improve your smile