What Everyone With Gingivitis Should Know

Posted on: 23 November 2015

If you have gingivitis, you aren't alone. While it isn't a normal part of aging and is completely preventable, many people suffer from some form of periodontal disease. If you are struggling with painful swelling and redness, check out these three facts that everyone with gingivitis should know.  

Gingivitis Is Reversible, but Periodontitis Is Not

There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is mild gum disease, and you may not even experience many or any symptoms with it. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease and causes swelling, bleeding, gum recession and tooth loss. Uncontrolled gingivitis doesn't always turn into periodontitis, but it's best not to take the chance because gingivitis is completely reversible, and periodontitis is not. Reversing gingivitis involves good dental cleanings and oral hygiene habits at home. As smoking increases the risk of gum disease, smokers should stop if they want to see their gingivitis improve.

You Can Lose Your Teeth if You Don't Seek Treatment

If you don't treat your gingivitis, it could lead to tooth loss. One way tooth loss occurs is when the disease reaches the jawbone, causing it to weaken so much that it cannot properly support the tooth. Tooth loss can also occur if you have advanced gum recession, which exposes your unprotected tooth roots. Unfortunately, if you're interested in dental implants, you're probably out of luck. Candidates for dental implants should have healthy gum and bone tissue and should be free of periodontal disease. Dentures may be your only option, but if you reverse your gingivitis, even if you've already lost a tooth, dental implants could be an option again.  

There are Non-Surgical Treatments

There are some non-surgical treatments your dentist can perform to help reverse gingivitis (they can also help reduce the symptoms of periodontitis). One common effect of gum disease is the development of gaps or pockets between the teeth and the gums. Although they start off small, bacteria can enter these pockets and reach below the gum line. Scaling and root planing clean and smooth the tooth below the gum line, reducing irritation and promoting healing. The dentist may also prescribe antibiotic gels and mouthwash to reduce the bacteria in your mouth.

If you have gingivitis, it's time to act, so you can reverse it for good. Don't let your gingivitis advance to periodontitis. If you want to learn more about how you can improve your gum disease, contact a dentist, such as Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics, in your area today.