It’s very important to look out for signs of gum disease, because this can be the start of other, more serious health issues. The first warning signs are usually swollen, inflamed and bleeding gums (also known as gingivitis).
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, and it’s very common. The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. It occurs when bacteria build up on the surface of the teeth creating plaque. If plaque is not removed, it turns into tartar, leading to inflammation of the gums.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, don’t worry – it’s the most easily treated and reversible form of gum disease. The sooner you seek care, the better the chances of reversing damage from gingivitis and preventing its progression to periodontitis, which can result in irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
What causes gingivitis?
There are many different factors, including:
- Poor oral care habits
- An unhealthy diet
- Orthodontic treatments
- Systemic disease like Diabetes, Cancer, etc.
- Certain drugs (for high-blood pressure, chemotherapy, etc)
What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis doesn’t usually cause any pain, so you will need to look out for other symptoms such as:
- Red or swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath
How can I avoid gingivitis?
You can protect yourself from gum disease by seeing your dentist twice a year, and taking good care of your mouth. That means brushing not only your teeth twice a day, but also cleaning the spaces between your teeth.
With proper daily care, regular check-ups, and the right solutions, you’ll be well on your way to healthier teeth and gums – and a healthier you.
Find out more about the mouth-body connection.