Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment
Gingivitis is an oral health condition that occurs when the gums become inflamed. It is essentially the body's natural response to the irritation caused by bacteria and plaque that has been allowed to build up on the teeth and gums.
Gingivitis affects millions of Canadians and is one of the most common conditions that the dentists at Hamilton's Eastgate Dental Centre diagnose and treat. We believe that it is important for our patients to understand how gingivitis is caused, as well as how it can be prevented and treated.
What Causes Gingivitis?
By far, the most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Areas of the mouth that are not brushed and flossed properly will begin to harbour more bacteria over time. If left alone, the bacteria will multiply and form a film known as plaque. When the plaque extends under the gumline, it can cause irritation.
Other risk factors for developing gingivitis include: eating sugary foods, smoking, health conditions such as diabetes, crooked teeth, immune deficiencies, broken fillings, and taking certain medications.
What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?
Having red, swollen, and bleeding gums is generally the first symptom of gingivitis. Unfortunately, when people notice that their gums are bleeding, they may stop flossing and develop detrimental brushing habits, which will generally just make the problem worse.
Other symptoms of gingivitis may include: sensitive teeth, pain when chewing, a change in how your dentures seem to fit, loose teeth, and noticing that your gums seem to be pulling away from your teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should definitely seek the advice of a Hamilton dentist.
How Can Gingivitis Be Prevented?
As gingivitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene habits, the best method of prevention is taking care to brush and floss your teeth every single day. Getting into the habit of flossing can be a challenge, but it is one of the keys to maintaining good oral health and preventing gingivitis.
Visiting your dentist at least every six months is another indispensable method of preventing gingivitis. Having your teeth professionally cleaned by the skilled hygienists at the Eastgate Dental Centre will get rid of any bacteria and plaque that has built up since your last visit.
Gingivitis Treatment from Your Hamilton Family Dentist
The good news is that treating gingivitis is fairly easy. Having your teeth cleaned and consulting with your dentist about your lifestyle and brushing habits can usually lead to a decrease in plaque and put a stop to gum inflammation. If, however, you do not take the necessary steps to treat gingivitis, then it can quickly develop into gum disease.
If you suspect that you may have gingivitis and want to catch and treat it before it can progress, then schedule an appointment with the Eastgate Dental Centre today. The Eastgate Dental Centre is proud to provide family dentistry services in Hamilton, Burlington, and Stoney Creek, and we are committed to diagnosing, treating, and teaching our patients about gingivitis.