What Are the Signs of Gingivitis?
It’s easy to miss the signs of early gum disease. But if you have puffy, red gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, you could have gingivitis5. There may not be pain associated with gingivitis, which is why the signs may be overlooked.
What Causes Gingivitis?
The most common causes are improper oral home care and improper technique. If brushing, flossing or rinsing with mouthwash doesn’t occur daily, leftover bacteria can build and forms a thick film known as plaque, which can lead to tartar and gum disease which can result in tooth loss5.
Can You Prevent Gingivitis?
Getting into a good, solid mouth-cleaning routine that involves brushing and rinsing twice daily, plus daily flossing, can help prevent the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. Scheduling regular dental check-ups are also key to keeping your mouth healthy and clean, as tartar build-up is something only professional tools used at a dental professional’s surgery can remove6.
How Is Gingivitis Treated?
The most crucial step in treating gingivitis is to not ignore symptoms that may seem harmless, such as a little blood in the basin when you floss and brush, and/or irritated gums that look red and/or swollen6. If these symptoms appear, make an appointment to check in with your dentist to identify the cause and to get your teeth and gums assessed. Your dentist may recommend an improved daily home-care regimen for your teeth, including adding mouthwash to your routine. If pockets of bacteria have formed around the teeth and gums are beginning to pull away from the teeth, a deep cleaning by your dentist or periodontist (a dentist who specialises in gum disease) may be suggested7. The good news is that this early, mild stage of gum disease is preventable. That said, if it goes untreated and ignored, gingivitis can develop into advanced stage gum disease (periodontitis), which is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults8.