Experts estimate that as many as 70% of Americans suffer from some level of gum disease. The mildest form – gingivitis – is both easily treated, and easily prevented, with proper oral hygiene. Knowing the causes and symptoms can help patients identify problems before they become serious, and treat them before they advance into full periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, including gingivitis, is characterized by the presence of bacterial colonies within the gums, causing infections, inflammation, pain, and soreness. As the bacteria multiplies and feeds, it creates acids that damage teeth, gum tissue, and even bone. While healthy gums can resist superficial bacteria, poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to remain in constant contact with gums, which inevitably allows the bacteria to penetrate below the gum line, where brushing, flossing, and mouthwash have little impact.
The primary symptoms of gingivitis are red, sore, swollen gums that bleed easily. Many people will suspect a problem when they see blood on their toothbrush or bleeding after flossing. It’s likely that early phases of gingivitis will have little to no pain – in this phase, professional cleaning, brushing and flossing properly and regularly may be enough to impact the bacterial colonies beneath the gums. Visiting a dentist will allow the dentist to assess the extent of the bacterial presence, and your dentist may recommend deeper cleaning (such as periodontal scaling) to help clean the bacteria from below the gum line.
If you see blood on your toothbrush, or if your gums bleed when you floss, it’s likely that you’re in the early phases of gingivitis/periodontal disease. While you don’t need to panic, you should be aware that the problem could become very severe if left untreated. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, and schedule a routine professional cleaning. If you have questions about the impact of gingivitis, ask your dentist during your next appointment.
For more information about oral health by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.
Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.