Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease characterized by inflammation, redness, and swelling of the gums. It is primarily caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. When plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can irritate the gum tissue, leading to gingivitis. Common symptoms include bleeding gums, bad breath, and gum tenderness. Gingivitis is generally reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings, but if left untreated, it can progress to more severe gum disease (periodontitis), which may result in tooth loss.
What are the signs of gingivitis?
Three common signs of gingivitis are:
- Red, swollen gums: Healthy gums are typically firm and pink. In contrast, gingivitis causes gums to appear red, swollen, and puffy due to inflammation.
- Bleeding gums: Gums affected by gingivitis tend to bleed easily, especially during brushing or flossing. You may notice blood on your toothbrush or dental floss, or when rinsing your mouth after cleaning your teeth.
- Bad breath (halitosis): Persistent bad breath, despite regular brushing and flossing, can be a sign of gingivitis. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums can produce a foul odor, making it difficult to maintain fresh breath.
During a dental examination for gingivitis at Happy Smiles Dental Clinic in New Hyde Park, NY, a dentist typically reviews your medical and dental history. This includes discussing any symptoms you're experiencing, your oral hygiene habits, and any factors that may increase your risk for gum disease. The dentist will also visually inspect your teeth and gums for signs of gingivitis, such as redness, swelling, and bleeding. Using a periodontal probe, the dentist at New Hyde Park Dental Clinic may measure the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums. Healthy gums have shallow pockets, while deeper pockets can be a sign of gum disease. Based on the examination results, the dentist at Happy Smiles Dental Clinic in NYC will recommend a treatment plan to address your gingivitis. This may include changes to your oral hygiene routine, additional professional cleanings, or more advanced treatments for advanced gum disease.
Can gingivitis be treated easily?
Gingivitis can be treated easily in New York at Happy Smiles Dental Clinic, NY, provided that it is detected early and addressed promptly. The key to treating gingivitis effectively is practicing good oral hygiene and seeking professional dental care. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and below the gumline, visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings, maintain a healthy diet and quit smoking or tobacco use. Gingivitis can typically be reversed with appropriate oral care and expert dental cleanings; however, if not addressed, it may advance to a more serious form of gum disease (periodontitis) that could lead to tooth loss.