Did you know that gingivitis is a preliminary condition for the development of gum disease? And did you know that gum disease is a highly avoidable condition that impacts millions of Americans annually? Even though this disease need not exist with today’s medical advances, it is still common for people to develop and treatment is relatively routine! If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with gingivitis or gum disease, read on to have some of your questions about this pervasive condition answered!
What is the difference between gingivitis and gum disease?
Gingivitis is defined as an inflammation of the gums due to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. This condition is easily treated through dental cleanings and a diligent oral healthcare regimen, but left unchecked it can develop into gum disease, which is harder to treat and carries a higher risk, such as tooth loss.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Unfortunately, gum disease can be a silent lurker. Some research suggests that only about 10 percent of adults who have gum disease are even aware of it. One symptom you may experience is red, inflamed gums that bleed when brushed or flossed, however not everyone will exhibit this. Because there aren’t always clear signs of gum disease, it’s important to see your dentist regularly to have your oral health evaluated.
How did I get gingivitis or gum disease?
For most people, gingivitis and gum disease are the result of improper oral health maintenance. If you don’t brush your teeth twice daily, floss, and utilize a mouthwash, your chances of developing these conditions are considerably greater than those who are diligent in their oral health routine. If brushing and flossing is skipped, bacteria and plaque buildup on teeth, eventually hardening into tartar and breaking down the integrity of teeth and gums over time.
I’ve been told I have gingivitis— what now?
When gum disease is caught in its early stage of gingivitis, it can be easily treated! The dentist will give your mouth a thorough clean and then prescribe a diligent routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a mouthwash to help your gums fight against infection. You should also revisit the dentist within a few months to have your condition evaluated and your teeth professionally cleaned again.
How is gum disease treated?
When left untreated, gum disease can lead to permanent tooth loss, so it’s important to have your condition taken care of as quickly as possible. Once gingivitis has advanced to gum disease, your dentist may take one of several routes for treatment. Both surgical and nonsurgical options are available, depending on how far your disease has progressed. No matter which option is right for you, your treatment will result in cleaner, healthier gums and a better environment for your teeth to thrive in.
If you’re worried you may be showing signs of gingivitis, or if you simply haven’t had your teeth professionally cleaned in a while, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Oradent Associates in Chicago today to schedule your next appointment!