Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, is seen most frequently in adults, but it can affect the dental health of any age group. What is especially alarming about gum disease is that its onset and progression can be so gradual and painless that you don’t notice it until you’re dangerously close to losing teeth. Regular dental visits, however, will allow your dentist to detect and even reverse it if caught in time.
- What causes gum disease?
- The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, which allows bacteria from built-up plaque and calculus to irritate and inflame your gums. Other contributory factors include:
- Too much sugar and carbohydrates in your diet
- Crooked teeth that overlap and make complete cleaning difficult
- Smoking, which inhibits the proper healing of gum tissue
- Stress levels that are high enough to lower your immune response
- Diabetes, and other medical conditions
- Certain medications such as oral contraceptives, heart medicines, and antidepressants
Left untreated, gum disease can develop into periodontitis, which actually makes your gums recede and enables infection to set in more deeply. Over time, both gum and bone tissue can be destroyed, resulting in tooth loss.
How is gum disease treated?
You can prevent gingivitis in the first place by visiting your dentist and hygienist regularly and following a good dental hygiene program. When we diagnose gum disease in its early states, our treatment approach includes a thorough cleaning and scaling of your teeth as well as regular use of mouth rinses. If deeper cleaning is advisable, we will use a local anaesthetic to minimize any potentual discomfort. Severe cases of gum disease or periodontitis will require treatment by a periodontal specialist.
How can gum disease be prevented?
Below are some ‘home-based’ steps that can prevent the onset of gingivitis
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Spend two or three minutes, and include your gumline.
- Floss every day and use interdental brushes to clean plaque away from areas inaccessible to your toothbrush
- Avoid cigarettes
- Ensure your have a low sugar diet
Horfield Dental Care welcomes the opportunity to work with you and prevent gingivitis and other dental diseases. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call us today!
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