Gingivitis, or gum disease, is an infection of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line. It’s often caused by inadequate oral hygiene, but factors like age, genetics, smoking, stress, and diabetes can also contribute to its development. The symptoms of gingivitis include swollen and reddened gums that bleed easily when touched. You might also notice bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Without treatment, the inflammation can progress to periodontitis and cause permanent damage to the teeth and surrounding bone structure. This is why seeking treatment for early signs of gum disease at First Smile Family Dental is essential. Treatment can include scaling and root planing and routine professional cleanings to remove buildup from the teeth and gums. Medications can also be prescribed to address underlying conditions like diabetes that can exacerbate the situation.
The Causes of Gingivitis
Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup along the gum line, which can lead to inflammation. Plaque buildup can occur when you don’t brush and floss enough daily. This sticky film contains bacteria that irritate the gums, causing them to bleed easily or swell up. Brushing and flossing regularly is your best defense against gum disease.
Other things contributing to gum disease include smoking, certain medications, dry mouth, diabetes, genetics, a low immune system, pregnancy, and menstruating females. You can’t always prevent these diseases, but you can work to avoid their effects! Regular checkups and cleanings will also help keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
Treatment for Gingivitis
Professional Dental Cleaning
The first step in treating gingivitis is to undergo a professional dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, a dental professional will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth and along the gumline. This helps eliminate the source of the inflammation and allows the gums to heal.
Improved Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for treating and preventing gingivitis. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay special attention to brushing along the gum line and gently massaging the gums. Additionally, floss daily to remove plaque and debris between the teeth and the gum line.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
It's essential to maintain regular dental check-ups to monitor the progress of your gingivitis treatment and ensure that your oral health is on track. Your dentist will assess the condition of your gums, provide further guidance on oral hygiene practices, and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
Prevention is critical when it comes to gingivitis. If you suspect you have gingivitis or are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease. In that case, it is recommended to visit First Smile Family Dental at 32717 1st Ave S., Suite 9, Federal Way, WA 98003, or call (253) 785-7323. Our dentist can evaluate your oral health, provide appropriate treatment, and offer guidance on maintaining healthy gums and teeth.