Do your gums bleed when you floss? Do they look red and puffy when you’re done brushing? These are symptoms of early-stage gum disease, known as gingivitis. It’s a condition that can be reversed, but it means taking a more proactive approach to oral care.
It’s estimated that as much as 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have gingivitis—or an even more advanced stage of gum disease, called periodontitis. If you’re concerned you might be among this statistic, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your North Conway dentist.
Dr. Mulandi at Eastern Slope dental can help you spot the signs of gingivitis in their early stages, and help you take control of this degenerative condition before it becomes worse. If you’re seeing red after you floss, have chronic bad breath or feel gum sensitivity after brushing, it’s time to ask about gingivitis and what you can do to prevent it from getting worse.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a form of early-stage gum disease. It involves gum inflammation and irritation by bacteria, and can lead to the swollen, bleeding gums you notice after you’re done brushing. It’s a chronic condition that will get worse if left untreated.
The good news is that gingivitis is both preventable and reversible! Prevention is as easy as being proactive with your oral care:
- Brush and floss thoroughly, twice each day
- Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash after brushing
- Scrape your tongue to prevent bacterial buildups
- Keep up to date on regular dental checkups and cleanings
Routine visits to your dentist are the best way to stay on top of gingivitis. A dental assessment involves measuring gum inflammation and recession, and a professional cleaning will go a long way toward clearing away lingering plaque and tartar.
Gingivitis becomes periodontitis
What happens if you don’t keep on top of gingivitis? Eventually, it’ll progress into advanced periodontal disease (periodontitis). At this stage, your gums will begin to deteriorate and pull back, exposing more of your teeth—even down to the root. Plaque buildup becomes more severe, and oral bacteria can even get into your blood stream through exposed teeth roots.
Periodontitis is not reversible, and treating it involves invasive procedures like scaling and root planing, and even gum grafts to help protect teeth roots. You’ll need to work with a periodontist to manage the condition over time, and there are other implications you’ll need to worry about—such as a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.
Prevention is key when it comes to gum disease
The key to stopping gingivitis and its progression to periodontitis is to stay on top of good oral health habits and routine dental visits. Keep an eye out for these symptoms, which are common in early-stage gingivitis:
- Bleeding gums after flossing
- Red, swollen gums after brushing
- Gum pain, including after eating
- Loose or sensitive teeth
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
Gingivitis is gum disease, which means it’s vital to pay attention to your gums and make sure they’re getting the care they deserve. Flossing and rinsing each day are the best things you can do for them. Moreover, it’s also a good idea to kick any bad habits that may affect your gums—namely tobacco use.
It’s also important to know that some health conditions may leave you more susceptible to gum disease. Diabetics need to manage their blood sugar to prevent premature tooth decay and gingivitis caused by oral bacteria. Those with autoimmune disorders also need to be wary, and take special care to keep up with good brushing and flossing habits.
Create a plan with your North Conway dentist
If, at your next dental checkup, your dentist alerts you to developing gingivitis, take it seriously! Periodontal pockets are easy to manage if caught early, and listening to your dentist can save you a lot of grief (and money) in the long run. They’ll recommend brushing habits and areas of focus that you can concentrate on to push back against gingivitis.
If you’re looking for a North Conway dentist who can help you in your battle against gingivitis or periodontal disease, turn to Dr. Mulandi at Eastern Slope dental. Dr. Mulandi will not only help you understand the level of gingivitis you’re dealing with; he’ll also be able to recommend the best approach to reversing it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as flossing and rinsing better—other times, it’s a deep clean to get you started on the path to better oral health.
Dr. Mulandi will help you fight back against gingivitis to prevent periodontal disease and the headaches that come with it.