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Gingivitis is a common dental term used by dentists. You may have a general understanding that having this condition is not good for your overall oral health. But what exactly is gingivitis and what do you need to know to understand how it develops and how it is treated? Here is an outline of what you should know about gingivitis including how to deal with it.

Gingivitis Defined

Gingivitis is defined as inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up and the bacteria it contains, which naturally occurs on your teeth each day.  Regular brushing and flossing of your teeth are important to help prevent inflammation of the gums.

Gingivitis may cause your gums to become red, swollen and often results in bleeding. Be on the lookout for early warning signs, since this condition may quickly progress to gum disease, which may lead to bone and tooth loss.  If steps are taken early on to address gingivitis, then it can be easily reversed.

How Do You Get Gingivitis?

If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly and care for those hard to reach areas of your mouth, such as the four back molars, then gingivitis can develop due to plaque and tartar buildup.  The gum line is a vulnerable area as well, when not properly cleaned on both the top and bottom teeth.

How do I Treat Gingivitis?

Early intervention is the key to treating gingivitis successfully with a daily routine of twice-daily brushing of teeth including the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth. It is also recommended to floss your teeth once a day. A soft-bristled toothbrush will help prevent aggravating your gums and will help you brush between your teeth and at the gum line more effectively to remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. The early stages of gingivitis should reverse itself if you follow these good oral habits each day.

What Happens if Gingivitis is Not Treated?

If you do not follow these recommendations and tartar builds up along the gum line then infection may occur and cause major dental issues such as tooth and bone loss.  Gingivitis will cause teeth to become loose as gums pull away, and may quickly lead to gum disease.

Prevention is the key to maintaining good oral health, and regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure your teeth are properly cleaned to avoid gingivitis.  Dr. Melchers and his experienced staff care about your overall wellness and are here to address all of your oral health care issues. Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.