What is Gingivitis?

About 75% of Americans will experience gingivitis at some point in their lives. But what exactly is gingivitis? What causes it? How do you know you have it? And what can you do about it?
 
Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, is a common and mild form of gum disease that is a sign you could be taking better care of your teeth. If left untreated it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.
 
Causes
 
Poor dental hygiene is usually the primary cause of gingivitis. Improper or infrequent brushing and flossing leads to bacterial growth and tartar build-up, which irritates the gums and causes the inflammation.
 
Symptoms
 
The first sign many people have that something is amiss is bleeding after brushing or flossing. You or your dentist will also notice that the gums look red and puffy. As gingivitis involves bacteria, you might also experience bad breath. If you experience pain, either in your gums or in your teeth, it might be a sign that the disease is becoming more serious. If your teeth are loose, you need to see your dentist right away.
 
Treatments
 
The best thing to do is to avoid gingivitis entirely by brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly. If you develop gingivitis, however, there are things you can do to make sure it does not progress. 
 
Brush and floss
 
Brush two times a day for two minutes and floss once a day. Using an anti-gingivitis toothpaste might help. Whatever you do, if you notice bleeding or pain when you brush or floss, DON'T STOP! Keeping your teeth clean is vital to resolving the pain and bleeding.
 
Replace your toothbrush every three months
 
Over time, toothbrushes collect bacteria and food particles, and the bristles become less effective at removing plaque.
 
Use mouthwash
 
Try normal mouthwash first, and move on to anti-gingivitis mouthwash if necessary.
 
See your dentist
 
It's important to see your dentist so that they can check your gums, give you advice on how to best deal with any inflammation and clean excess tartar off your teeth and from below your gum line.
 
Healthy teeth depend on healthy gums, so don't hesitate to contact your dentist in Albuequerque, NM if you're worried about gingivitis! Gingivitis is a mild condition that is easily remedied; if you take care of it promptly it will not develop into more severe gum disease. A Better Smile Dentistry can be reached at (505) 208-0505.
 
 

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