Do you currently have painful gums but aren’t sure why? It could be a sign of gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. Fortunately, gingivitis can be reversed if treated properly. But should gingivitis go untreated, it can linger and progress into periodontitis, a more serious dental condition that can lead to loss of teeth. In this blog post, we will explain what gingivitis is, what causes it, and treatment options from a family dentist.

What is gingivitis?

Per Medical News Today, a patient with gingivitis will have red, puffy gums and likely experience bleeding when brushing their teeth. Keep in mind that gingivitis typically resolves itself with better oral hygiene habits supplemented with regular trips to the dentist. Here are some additional signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Tender gums that are painful to the touch
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Soft or receding gums
  • Inflammation

Causes of gingivitis

Our dental office usually sees gingivitis as a result of the accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth. When this isn’t removed adequately, it can cause tartar at the base of the teeth, near the gums. As opposed to plaque, tartar buildup can only be removed by a professional. Here are some other causes of gingivitis:

  • Hormonal changes – During these times, the gingiva may become more sensitive and raise the risk of gum inflammation.
  • Some diseases, including HIV, diabetes, and cancer, have been linked to a higher risk of developing gum disease.
  • Dental patients who take certain medications where saliva flow is reduced may be more susceptible to gingivitis.
  • Smoking – Those who smoke regularly have a greater chance of developing gum disease than non-smokers.
  • Family history – Experts say that those whose parents dealt with gingivitis also have a higher risk of developing it themselves.

Gingivitis Diagnosis from an Experienced Family Dentist

It’s difficult for patients to recognize gingivitis on their own, which is why it’s important to keep those dental cleaning appointments every six months. When you come into our office for family dental care, our professionals will provide the following gingivitis care:

  • Plaque and tartar removal with scaling – This may be somewhat uncomfortable at times, especially if the patient’s gums are very sensitive or the tartar buildup is extensive.
  • Oral hygiene education – Good dental hygiene shouldn’t just be limited to your two appointments during the year. That’s why we demonstrate the proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques.
  • Fixing teeth when necessary – If you have crooked teeth or badly fitted crowns or bridges, it may be more difficult for your dentist or hygienist to properly remove plaque/tartar. We will do what we can so that oral hygiene can be done effectively.  

Dr. Trent Nguyen, the cosmetic dentist at Avue Cosmetic Dentistry, regularly emphasizes the significance of preventative treatment for patients. From fluoride treatments and sealants to oral cancer screenings and home care instruction, we provide the unmatched family dental care that you come to expect.

Contact us to make your initial appointment.