22nd July 2019

What is Gingivitis and How is It Treated?

Gingivitis can be an unpleasant and serious disease if not treated. Catching it at the earliest stage is key, as it can usually be treated with good dental hygiene. It’s often painless, so if you start to develop any symptoms, it’s important that you visit your dentist for a proper assessment. If you do have gingivitis, they will then be able to recommend the best course of treatment.

What is Gingivitis?

Red, swollen, tender and bleeding gums are all signs that you may have gingivitis. As an early form of gum disease, it’s important that gingivitis is diagnosed as quickly as possible so your dentist can provide you with effective treatment. If it is left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis which is a condition that causes pocketing around the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss.

How is it Diagnosed?

Your dentist will look at the following:

  • Examination of your gums, teeth, mouth and tongue for plaque or signs of inflammation.
  • Review of your dental and medical history and any conditions you may have that could contribute to your symptoms.
  • Measuring the depth of the pocket around your teeth. Pockets deeper than 4mm could be an indication of gums disease.
  • A dental X-ray to check for bone loss in the areas where there are pockets.

In cases where it’s not clear what has caused gingivitis, the dentist may recommend a medical evaluation to check for any underlying health conditions. Because gingivitis is the earliest form of gums disease and there are few painful symptoms, sometimes it’s too advanced by the time you realise and visit your dentist. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist in gum diseases if this occurs.

Prevention Methods

There are certain methods of prevention when it comes to gingivitis, including:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily
  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Floss daily and use tepe brushes after every meal
  • Stop smoking

If you’ve got gingivitis, the goal is to get rid of the inflammation and restore them to a healthy pink colour. By following the above steps, you’re giving yourself the best chance of preventing the disease from developing any further. Remember to be gentle with brushing; you don’t want to provoke sensitive gums and teeth.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Visiting a hygienist can often be the first course of treatment if gingivitis is detected. A hygienist will be able to remove significantly more plaque and tartar build-up than you’d be able to remove with regular brushing and flossing. They will also polish your teeth to remove any surface stains. Any newfound cavities must be repaired, as abnormalities of the teeth can hinder dental hygiene. Your dentist and hygienist will also be able to give you instructions on proper techniques for brushing and flossing your teeth at home.

For more information or to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also book an appointment through this link.

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