What is Gingivitis?
When you have gingivitis (gum disease), your gums will become red, swollen and bleed easily. It can be non-destructive but untreated, it can progress to periodontitis (the more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis is an infection that damages soft tissue and bone supporting the tooth.
Microorganisms like bacteria stick to the tooth’s surface and continue to multiply causing toxins to be released and inflammation to develop. All of this may occur if you don’t take proper care of your teeth.
Ignoring pain in your jaw, seeing blood when brushing your teeth, or allowing plaque to build up because you didn’t have it removed at least twice a year, can lead to gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis. Smoking increases the risk of gum disease and of treatment not solving the problem. There also may be a link between gum disease and conditions in other parts of the body, specifically heart disease.
Eating a lot of sugary foods or drinking too many soft drinks can speed up the development of plaque which irritates the gums. Bacteria in the mouth use sugar to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth as well as lead to tooth decay. Some people who consume a lot of sugar may need more than two checkups a year to protect their teeth. Even better for your teeth and your overall health, is to cut back on the sugary foods.
If you have a serious infection that is untreated for too long, it can damage surrounding tissue and bone and cause the loss of the affected tooth. Being aware of what’s going on in your mouth and following recommended prevention protocols is the best way to avoid gingivitis.
Twice a year scaling of plaque and cleaning around the gum line is recommended by dentists and the American Dental Association. Don’t put yourself through the drama, pain, and discomfort of having a tooth removed due to lack of oral care. Take care of your teeth by seeing your dentist regularly, brushing and flossing daily.