Like most people, you probably do not give much thought to your gums unless they start to hurt. Unfortunately, many people wait until the pain becomes unbearable before seeking treatment for gingivitis. If you want to protect your oral health, it is essential to spot the early signs of gingivitis. This condition can often be treated if caught early on, but it can lead to more severe problems if left untreated.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. It usually only affects the gums, not the bones that support your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If you do not remove plaque, it hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar buildup can irritate your gums and make them more vulnerable to infection. Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup on your teeth. Plaque is a pasty or sticky layer of saliva, food debris, and bacteria. It hardens and turns into tartar (calculus). Tartar irritates the gums and makes them more susceptible to infection. Gingivitis is preventable with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Gingivitis can be reversed with a professional dental cleaning and improved home care. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.
Early Signs of Gingivitis
Some early signs can help you identify gingivitis to seek treatment before the condition worsens. One of the most common early signs of gingivitis is bleeding gums. This can occur when you brush your teeth or floss, and it is often one of the first things that people notice. Other early symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums, bad breath, and a change in the fit of your dentures. If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, be sure to see your dentist so that they can diagnose and treat the problem.
Call our office to schedule an appointment if you suspect you may have gingivitis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from progressing to periodontitis.
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