Your oral health is complex, and much of it goes largely unnoticed throughout the course of your day. Because of this, conditions like gingivitis (which is the precursor to gum disease) can often develop and progress before patients realize they have it, or are even at risk for it. The problem with not recognizing gingivitis is that, if you don’t know you have it, then you won’t know to seek treatment for it. Given time, it can quickly progress into more severe gum disease and require more extensive treatment to address it.
How gingivitis first develops
The common early signs of gingivitis are directly related to how the condition is allowed to develop in the first place. Gingivitis is a relatively minor infection in your gum tissues, and it’s caused by excessive amounts of oral bacteria accumulating along your gum line. Some of these bacteria release toxins that irritate the tissues, others can release molecules that results in chronic inflammation in your gums. The attacks on your gums can eventually cause the tissue to erode, and as gum disease becomes increasingly more severe, you risk of further problems (including tooth loss) will continue to rise.
The typical warning signs of it
The development of gingivitis in your gums isn’t always obvious at first, but there are signs that oral bacteria have begun to irritate and infect them. For example, even if your gums aren’t painful or sensitive, you might notice them changing color in certain areas, becoming darker in appearance. You might also notice tartar developing at your gum line, which you won’t be able to brush and floss away at home. As the infection develops and progresses, you may notice more telltale signs of gingivitis, including:
- Bleeding in your gums when you brush and floss
- The development of chronic bad breath
- The pulling away of your gums (known as gum recession)
- One or more teeth beginning to feel loose
- And more
How to effectively treat your gingivitis
If you notice that you show signs of gingivitis, or if your dentist detects it during your professional checkup examination, then it’s important to treat the condition as soon as possible. For many patients with gingivitis, we can often help control the disease and mitigate any damage it might cause with the help of periodontal cleaning. This involves carefully cleaning away plaque, tartar, and oral bacteria from underneath your gum tissues, removing the source of the infection so your gums can heal.
Learn more about dealing with gingivitis
Many people recognize the term, gingivitis, but it’s even more important to recognize the warning signs of it as early as possible. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213.