It starts as a small problem–bad breath that won’t go away, red and swollen gums, and mild discomfort. You may notice some blood when brushing your teeth–but doesn’t that just mean you were being too rough with your teeth? The real truth may be far more serious, and lead to complications in your oral health.
Why are my gums hurting, bleeding, and swollen?
If you have any of the above signs, you likely have gingivitis–a non-destructive reaction to bacterial buildup in your mouth. While this may sound bad, there’s nothing to fear yet. Gingivitis itself will not cause long-term damage and can be reversed with good oral hygiene and the help of your local dentist. To learn the best way to get rid of gingivitis, contact a dentist at Greenspoint Dental.
How do I know for certain I have gingivitis?
Symptoms of gingivitis are very noticeable and will not go away without treatment. They include:
- Swelling: the gums may expand and swell, becoming inflamed.
- Redness: the gums will lose their natural color and take on a raw, red appearance.
- Bad breath: despite tooth brushing, flossing, or mouthwash, if you have gingivitis you will likely be constantly fighting mouth odor.
- Tenderness: the gums will begin to ache, especially when touched or brushed on.
At the first sign of these symptoms, contact a dentist. He or she can assist you in diagnosing and removing the gingivitis and making sure no unhealthy plaque exists on your teeth. A treatment may be applied to your teeth directly that will help eliminate tartar. You will also be responsible for additional tooth brushing, flossing, and perhaps deeper cleaning using prescribed tools.
What if I don’t treat gingivitis?
Gingivitis must be treated or else it will progress to periodontitis, or gum disease. Gum disease is responsible for shrinking gums and tooth loss. Gingivitis is always a precursor to gum disease, and is much harder to treat once the disease advances. By catching it in the early stages, you can avoid loss of gum tissue.
Can I treat gingivitis myself at home?
While self treatment is an important of gingivitis care, it is essential to consult a dentist. Only a medical professional can accurately tell you whether the plaque is removed from your mouth. Additionally, dentists will be able to prescribe stronger bacterial medicines that can speed up the process and avoid any loss of necessary tissue. He or she can also help you learn proper brushing techniques and instruct you further on dental care to avoid future dental problems.
Make sure you practice healthy dental habits including brushing your teeth twice a day and avoiding sugary drinks and snacks. Try not to have sugary drinks before bed, and make sure to floss at least once a day. Encourage family members to do the same, as healthy brushing habits are learned and can be instilled at a young age. Contact a dentist at Greenspoint Dental today to learn the proper ways to brush and floss. Your teeth are counting on you.