Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque has accumulated on teeth that eventually begins to irritate the gums. Luckily, gingivitis does not come on suddenly. It is a progressive disease that has warning signs. Many of the symptoms of gingivitis become apparent when people brush their teeth, but people often do not even realize they have it. They may be diagnosed during a routine visit to their dentist.
People often dismiss the early signs of gingivitis assuming they have brushed too hard. Early symptoms of gingivitis include tender, swollen gums and persistent bad breath that does not subside. The gum tissue becomes bright red due to the irritation caused by plaque and they often bleed when brushed. Depending on the length of time gingivitis has been present, gums may begin to recede or pull away from teeth giving them an elongated appearance.
Only a dentist can diagnose and treat gingivitis. However, most cases of gingivitis are reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional cleanings. The length of time it takes to reverse gingivitis depends on how progressed the condition is at the time of diagnosis and how thoroughly patients approach their oral care routine at home. Your dental professional may want to see you more often early in treatment to monitor progress and they may also recommend that you rinse with a special mouthwash.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and it is reversible. However, it is also a serious condition and it is progressive. If not treated, it will continue to develop into the more serious periodontal disease. Untreated gingivitis can lead to the formation of deep pockets around the gum line where bacteria thrive. Teeth will loosen and begin to shift. Eventually, tooth loss will occur, and the damage will be irreparable.
If you think you may have gingivitis, or your teeth bleed when you brush, make an appointment with our team at Thompson Dental today. Our friendly and professional staff will help you explore your options for maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.