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Gingivitis: Symptoms and Causes in Voorhees, NJ

Do You Know the Common Causes and Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is insidious. You can have it for months but be completely unaware of the fact. You might have a little bit of bleeding when you brush or floss or you might have occasional or persistent bad breath. Both of these are signs that you should make an appointment with your dentist. Read on to learn more about gum disease, its causes, and how to treat it.

How Can Gingivitis Be Prevented?

Gingivitis is very common, very treatable, and very preventable. It’s also one of the most common reasons for tooth loss among adults over 30, and more than 70 percent of adults 65 and older have it, according to the CDC. It’s more common in men than in women and the incidence increases with age. What’s the best way to prevent gingivitis? A daily regimen of good oral hygiene is the best way to deter the formation of gingivitis and plaque. Brush and floss often and visit your dentist at least annually, more frequently if you have additional risk factors. When gingivitis is caught early, such as during your dental checkup, the prognosis is excellent. However, if you let it become advanced periodontal disease, then you may lose some or all of your teeth as well as gum tissue and bone in your jaw.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Gingivitis?

Your gums should be pale pink and firm and should hug the teeth. If not, then you may have gingivitis. If you notice any of the following, then make an appointment with your dentist without delay.

  • Bleeding when you brush and floss
  • Gum color change, such as from pink to purple or red
  • Increased gaps between your teeth
  • Loosened teeth
  • Discomfort or pain when you chew
  • Perpetual bad taste or halitosis
  • Receding gums
  • Swollen, painful or sensitive gums

Any of these signs can indicate the presence of gum disease, so you should see your dentist immediately. Not only will it alleviate your pain and discomfort, but it can also save your teeth and gums.

What’s the Cause of Gingivitis?

Lack of good oral hygiene is the primary cause of gingivitis and the easiest to remedy. After you eat, a sticky substance called plaque begins to form on your teeth. It’s laden with bacteria and continues to form until it’s removed through brushing and flossing. If it’s not removed, then hard calculus deposits form. Also called tartar, calculus deposits shield the plaque so that it can proliferate and ultimately destroy your teeth. Tartar can only be removed by a professional, so you should have at least annual dental checkups to remove any tartar that may have accumulated. If it isn’t removed, then you can develop chronic periodontitis, which is an infection of the bone and tissue in your gums, and you can eventually lose your teeth.

Do You Know the Risk Factors for Developing Periodontal Disease?

Anyone can develop gingival disease, but some things can increase the likelihood. If you have any of the following conditions, then you may be more likely to develop gum disease:

  • Diabetes
  • Familial predisposition
  • Hormone changes
  • Poor nutrition, especially a lack of vitamin C
  • Medications with a side effect of dry mouth, whether the medications are prescription or over-the-counter
  • Dental appliances, fillings, and bridges that are defective or fit poorly
  • Tobacco use, whether you smoke it or chew it

If any of these apply to you, then you should ensure that you have a better-than-average regimen of good oral hygiene.

Do You Know That Gum Disease Can Affect Your Overall Health?

Many people think that if they lose their teeth, they’ll just get implants or dentures. However, even though these may be options, the reason you lost your teeth is the crux of the matter. Losing your natural teeth to gum disease will harm not only your oral health but all the systems and organs of your body, including your heart and lungs. The tissues in the mouth are very thin, so substances in the mouth are easily transmitted to the rest of the body. When you have infection and inflammation in your mouth, it can be transmitted to the lungs through respiration, to the heart and the rest of the body through blood circulation. Gingival disease can also increase the likelihood of developing serious diseases, such as:

  • Cancer: The AAP reports that men who had periodontal disease were more likely to develop blood cancers, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer than those who had good oral health.
  • Cardiac disease: A higher incidence of periodontal disease is associated with those who have heart disease.
  • Diabetes: Unhealthy blood sugar levels in those with diabetes encourage the formation of gingivitis in addition to the loss of vision, neural damage, and renal disease that often accompany diabetes.
  • Respiratory disease: The bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the lungs through the normal breathing process, and can cause pulmonary diseases, according to the AAP.
  • Stroke: The incidence of stroke due to arterial blockage to the brain was higher in those with periodontal disease than it was in other types of stroke victims.

Are There Methods for Preventing Periodontal Disease?

The best method for preventing the onset of periodontal disease is to establish a regimen of good oral hygiene and maintain it no matter what. The mouth is rife with bacteria because it’s the first stage of your digestive system. When sugar and carbohydrates enter your mouth, they combine with the bacteria so that your food is more easily digestible once it enters your stomach, so eliminating all of the bacteria in your mouth isn’t a good idea. However, removing the detritus after eating will help to ensure that you don’t develop gingivitis or a more advanced stage of periodontal disease. Your dentist will advise you of the optimal program of brushing and flossing that will best suit your needs and can clean your teeth so that they last for your lifetime. It’s better to opt for regular cleaning than it is to need a deep cleaning that involves root planing and scaling.

Remember that you may not be aware of the presence of gingivitis until it is well-progressed, so if you haven’t seen a dentist in the past year, then call us today to schedule an appointment. You can also book an appointment online, but don’t procrastinate. We look forward to working with you, so contact us today.

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