What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a term that you have probably heard tossed around in toothpaste or mouthwash commercials. Gingivitis is a condition that affects millions of people ranging across age groups and demographics. Even though it is an extremely common condition, do you know what gingivitis is? It is the first stage of progressive gum disease, and the roots of the word mean “the inflammation (-itis) of gum tissue (gingiva).” While gingivitis is preventable and even reversible if caught very early, it can progress into a dangerous form of periodontal disease. Once gum disease is allowed to progress into the advanced stages, it will become a permanent part of your oral health.
How Do I Prevent It?
Like tooth decay (another very common progressive condition), gingivitis is the result of excessive oral bacteria building up on and along your teeth and gums. Harmful bacteria can work their way underneath your gumline, which can lead to irritation and inflammation of the tissue (gingivitis). Preventing gingivitis comes down to keeping your mouth clean and clear of harmful bacteria. Brushing your mouth at least twice and flossing at least once daily are part of a good oral hygiene routine that can keep your mouth clear of trouble. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can keep the bad agents flushed away from your teeth and gums. You should remember to keep on top of your regular exams and cleanings with your dentist. Visits at least twice a year can give your dentist a chance to identify any signs of gingivitis in your smile.
Protection Through Management
If you do find out that your gums are inflamed, do not fret. Depending on the stage of gingivitis, your dentist may be able to do a deep periodontal cleaning to reverse it. If gum disease is already at a later stage, periodontal management can help prevent it from causing damage to your gum tissue, your teeth, or the bones that support them. Managing gum disease can also lower your risk of the diseases associated with it like heart disease or diabetes.