What is gingivitis and What are the different methods of Treatment?
Gingivitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the gums. If you don’t treat it early, it can worsen and develop into periodontitis – an even more serious condition. That’s why it’s important to take measures to prevent and intervene at the first signs of gum disease.
The American Dental Association states that gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis are the primary reasons for tooth loss among adults.
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What causes gingivitis?
Though the edges of your gums are visible, they actually attach to your teeth lower down, thus creating a gap that is known as a sulcus. This very space can get filled up with food and plaque, leading to an infection, or gingivitis.
Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria that resides on your teeth’s surface. If left unchecked, it eventually hardens and becomes tartar, which can lead to gum infections if it extends past the gum line.
Ignoring gingivitis can be detrimental to your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Due to the inflammation of the gum tissue, it can detach from the teeth which can lead to injury and infection. If left untreated, you could eventually experience tooth loss.
Not all gum infections that lead to gingivitis are due to plaque buildup. Other causes include:
- Certain fungal and viral infections, such as Thrush, may occur.
- An impacted tooth occurs when a full eruption in the mouth is hindered, which can lead to the trapping of food particles and the development of gingivitis. This happens when part of a tooth is unable to fully emerge due to tissue or bone blocking its way.
Symptoms of gingivitis
Without proper care, gum disease can go undetected and cause a lot of damage. Warning signs may not be obvious but look out for the following signs that could point to gum disease:
- Swollen, tender, and red gums are a warning sign that something isn’t right. Bleeding of gums while brushing or flossing is also another indication
- Teeth that have detached from your gums are known as loose teeth.
- An alteration in the alignment of your teeth when you clamp down (malocclusion).
- pain, sensitivity, and gaps between your teeth and gums.
- Wearing ill-fitting partial dentures can be annoying and embarrassing, as well as lead to discomfort and irritation for the wearer.
Gingivitis diagnosis & Treatments
During a dental check-up, your dentist will measure the depth of your gums using a small ruler.
- This examination helps to detect inflammation in the area.
- Dental probing is a dental procedure that assesses the depth of gum pocketing. Usually, it ranges from 1 to 3 millimeters in size and helps determine the health of your gums.
- Additionally, your dentist may request X-rays to examine any potential bone loss.
Make time to speak to your dentist and discuss your risk factors for gum disease and the symptoms you may be experiencing. This can help diagnose gingivitis, in which case you’d likely be referred to a periodontist – a dental specialist who specializes in treating such illnesses.
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is essential to fight off gingivitis. Reduce tobacco intake or quit smoking altogether if you smoke, and make sure to regulate your diabetes. Quitting might be hard, but consulting a doctor can help establish a successful cessation plan.
Other treatments include:
It is possible to deep clean your teeth without undergoing any surgery. A range of techniques exists that clear away plaque and tartar build-up, thus preventing gum inflammation & irritation.
- Teeth scaling is the act of removing tartar from your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Keeping your mouth healthy is essential for overall well-being. Regular dental care and hygiene practices are necessary to maintain oral health.
- Root planing is an effective dental treatment that can help smooth out any rough spots on your teeth, as well as eliminate plaque and tartar from the root surface.
- Lasers are a great option for tartar removal as they get the job done with less pain and bleeding than scaling and root planing.
Gum disease is treatable with a range of medications, such as antiseptic mouthwash or chips containing chlorhexidine, and antibiotic microspheres with minocycline, which is in pockets after scaling and planning. Persistent cases of gingivitis is curable with oral antibiotics, providing a long-term solution to this annoying problem.
If your gingivitis has gotten to a serious point, leading to lost gum or bone tissue, then you’ll have to go for surgery. For this purpose, you’ll have to visit a periodontist.
To maintain optimal dental health, it’s essential to practice proper oral hygiene consistently. This includes visiting the dentist regularly and brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, flossing your teeth and eating a balanced diet every day is both important for preventing gum disease and sustaining dental health.
It is highly advisable to get in touch with a dentist if you think that you may be suffering from gum disease. This is because the condition can still revert to its earlier state if detected early on. Look for signs such as swollen and reddish gums that bleed easily and get professional help right away.
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