Do You Have Gingivitis?

Do you have gingivitis? You hear the term often in those toothpaste ads on television, but do you know if you might have gingivitis?

Gingivitis is simply the mildest form of gum disease so it is not a reason to panic. However, gingivitis should never be ignored. This is a warning sign that your oral care is lacking and you need to pay a little more attention to brushing and flossing.

The signs of gingivitis include sore, red, puffy gums. There may be some bleeding when you brush your teeth or when you floss. A bloody toothbrush is not normal but if you take some simple steps you should be able to reverse the situation.

Fighting gingivitis

Your first step is learning the cause. When you don’t brush and floss every day there are deposits of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food particles, left on your teeth. Plaque bacteria release acids that attack teeth and cause cavities. After about 72 hours the plaque hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a professional cleaning, you can’t brush or floss it away. The tartar forms along the gum line which allows more plaque to accumulate and eventually these deposits irritate and inflame the gum tissue. Redness, puffiness and bleeding follow, along with sore, sensitive gums.

If it has been more than 6 months since your last dental cleaning – pick up the phone and make an appointment right away! People with certain medical conditions like diabetes or smokers may need to have cleanings even more often in order to keep gums healthy.

Brush with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste every morning and every evening. Don’t scrub too hard but brush for about 2 minutes.

Floss every single day. Refuse to floss? Try using interdental brushes, which are tiny brushes made to fit between teeth. Flossers with little plastic handles are also a convenient choice for people who don’t like fighting with floss or who have mobility issues that make flossing difficult.

Sore gums are a sign that there is something wrong. Fortunately, gingivitis is a condition that can quickly be turned around. Please contact Asheville cosmetic dentist Dr. John Highsmith today at 828-627-9282 to schedule your next visit.

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Posted in: Oral Health, Periodontal Disease

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