The First Signs of Gingivitis

dentist DentonGum disease can impact one or several teeth; a quadrant; an arch; or your entire mouth can be impacted with this oral health problem. Even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing; and visit your dentist every six months as recommended, you can still develop gingivitis.

The early signs of gingivitis include unprovoked bleeding gums; swollen, red gum tissue; or chronic bad breath.  If teeth feel loose and are pulling away from gums, you may have a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis.

If gums bleed during brushing, you may be using too firm a toothbrush or a heavy hand. Switch to a soft bristle brush. And you don’t have to scrub your teeth to remove plaque. The important thing to remember is you need to brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes each time.

An electronic toothbrush is an excellent tool as it actually does the work while you guide it around your mouth reaching all your teeth. Most come with some type of timer signal that lets you know when you have brushed for two minutes. Flossing daily will remove food debris your toothbrush missed.

Healthy gum tissue is pink and firm – puffy, red, bleeding gums can indicate the onset of gingivitis.

Eating and drinking strong consumables like garlic, onions, or coffee can mean bad breath … brushing, rinsing, or sucking on a breath mint can alleviate this type of bad breath. But when bad breath is ongoing, you might be dealing with an oral infection. A visit to the dentist will provide a diagnosis – as previously mentioned, gingivitis can impact one or many teeth.

Very often the solution is a deep cleaning where your dentist goes beneath the surface of gum tissue to remove plaque build-up that has formed. This is called root planing and scaling – once plaque has been removed, the area can heal. If infection is present, an antibiotic may be provided to promote healing.

Ailing gum tissue and chronic bad breath are the leading signs of gingivitis; but if your oral health has advanced to loose teeth or gum tissue pulling away from teeth, get to your dentist as soon as possible. Undiagnosed gum disease can lead to serious infection, an abscess, or even tooth loss … with proper treatment and care, your oral health can be restored.

For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Withers Dentistry at 940-293-2635.