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Gingivitis is a word we all have heard when describing a problem with dental health.  We all nod with understanding when it’s mentioned, but how many really know what it is and what causes it.  Our dental practice is here to shed some much needed light on the subject of gingivitis.

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease.  That’s the simple answer.  The good part, if there is a good part to having gingivitis, it that it is the early stage of gum disease and can be treated.  Let’s talk about gum disease.  Gum disease infected tissue that supports and surrounds the teeth.  The start of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may not cause discomfort and therefore go undetected.

There are some noticeable signs that you might have gum disease.  Perhaps the loosing of permanent teeth, gums that have receded from the teeth or the way your teeth or dentures fit together.  You may notice swollen and red gums that bleed rather easily.   Gum disease even presents itself as bad breath.

Your risk of gum disease may increase if your hygiene is poor. Smoking or any type of tobacco use will also increase your risk.  You may have genetics that increase your risk or teeth that are crooked and difficult to keep clean.  Sometimes a medical condition such as diabetes or being pregnant can make your gums more vulnerable  to gum disease due to hormone changes.  Even certain medications increase the risk. It is imperative to visit our office as soon as you notice any of the beginning signs of gum disease.  The sooner it’s caught, the easier it is to treat.   Gingivitis can usually be reversed by a professional cleaning followed up with good home dental habits like regular brushing and flossing.  Left on its own, gum disease can become advanced.  This stage of gum disease is called periodontitis.  When gum disease reaches this stage, bone loss and tissue loss can occur.  The result of this bone and tissue loss will be the loosening or loss of the tooth or teeth that are affected.

Now that you know all about gingivitis, you can see why a regular visit to our dental practice is advised.  Professionally cleaned teeth and overall dental care is essential for the health of your mouth.  We can detect this disease in its early stages and help correct the problem.

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