Taking care of your teeth at least two times a day is a must for a mouth that’s healthy and clean. If you skip brushing and flossing, it can lead to many problems, including gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a condition that most people don’t even know they have because it’s relatively painless. It starts with a mild inflammation of your gums. If not taken care of through daily care and regular checkups, it can lead to the more painful periodontitis gum disease and even the loss of teeth.
Plaque forms on your teeth every day. It’s created when bacteria in your mouth mixes with the foods you eat, especially sugar. If you don’t brush and floss away this plaque, it typically hardens in 24 hours, leaving tartar, a tough buildup that requires professional cleaning to get rid of. The longer you leave plaque and tartar on your teeth, the greater the chance it will irritate the gingiva or gum area around the base of your teeth, giving you gingivitis.
So how do you know if your teeth are healthy? Open wide and take a look!
Healthy gums are pale pink, firm, and fit closely around your teeth. But, if you have gingivitis, you may have some of the following symptoms:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Dark red gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Tender gums
If you see any of these signs of gingivitis, it’s important to schedule an appointment with Fisher Pointe Dental. The sooner you get in, the better your chance of reversing any damage and preventing its progression.
Gingivitis can happen to anyone, but some of the risk factors that can increase your chances of developing it are:
- Poor oral care habits
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Older age
- Dry mouth
- Poor nutrition, including a vitamin C deficiency
- Crooked teeth
- Dental restorations that don’t fit correctly
- Conditions that decrease your immunity such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS, or cancer treatment
- Certain drugs such as phenytoin for epilepsy, as well as some calcium channel blockers used for angina, high blood pressure, and other conditions
- Hormonal changes related to pregnancy, menstrual cycles, or birth control pills
- Medical conditions such as viral and fungal infections.
While we know that gingivitis can lead to oral diseases and possibly tooth loss, some research says that chronic gingivitis can cause other conditions such as respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies suggest the bad bacteria on your gumline enters your bloodstream through gum tissue, affecting your heart, lungs, and other parts of your body.
What you can do to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible is practice great oral hygiene every day, see your dentist every six months, eat healthy, and manage your blood sugars.
If you need to make an appointment, call Fisher Pointe Dental today.