Gingivitis is one of the leading causes for dentist and doctor visits every year. Though the condition can present with little to no symptoms, others find that it leaves them with bad breath and some mild tooth or gum pain. Gingivitis affects the gums and may affect the teeth. When this occurs, patients can suffer from severe tooth decay that leads to cavities and other issues. Learning more about gingivitis is one of the best steps toward prevention.
A large number of people don't realize that they suffer from gingivitis. They might experience a few of the more common symptoms without realizing that it's a serious medical condition. One of the more common symptoms is inflammation of the gums. This can range from some minor swelling that gives you a small amount of discomfort to more serious swelling that causes pain as the inflammation presses on the tooth.
Sensitivity in the gums is another possible symptom of gingivitis. You might notice that it hurts when you brush your teeth or when eating hot or cold foods. In more serious cases, the gums of the patient can even change color and appear darker red or purple, and some may also notice white streaks along the gum line. Halitosis, which is the medical term for bad breath, is another symptom. You may also find that your gums bleed during brushing.
Those who are at risk of developing gingivitis include those who do not take proper care of their teeth and mouths. Brushing your teeth and even flossing alone will not keep the disease at bay. You also need to carefully brush your gums and use mouthwash to kill germs hiding in your mouth. If you smoke cigarettes, you're also at risk of developing gingivitis. Others who are at risk of developing the disease include those who practice poor dental hygiene techniques, those of an older age, and patients with certain medical conditions.
One of the first things that a dentist will recommend is the removal of any tartar or plaque built up on the teeth. This can occur due to the foods and liquids that you consume breaking through the enamel on the teeth or building up on the surface of the enamel. Dentists use different tools and pressurized water to scrape off those elements and clean each teeth. If you have a missing or damaged crown or another dental appliance, the dentist will also repair or replace that appliance. These devices can make it difficult for you to properly clean your teeth. Working with a licensed dentist is one of the best ways to improve your dental health and reduce your risk of developing gingivitis. Talk with your dentist to find out more about the condition and how you can treat it.