YOU’RE SITTING IN THE DENTAL CHAIR, everything going as planned at your checkup until Dr. McOmie tells you that you have gingivitis. If you haven’t heard of gingivitis before you’re probably thinking, “What is gingivitis? Is it serious? Is it treatable?”
We’ve compiled all the information you need to know about gingivitis so you can keep your smile healthy!
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums characterized by gum irritation, redness, swelling, and sometimes bleeding. Symptoms of gingivitis are fairly mild and can even be painless. Visiting your dentist regularly is important so gingivitis can be diagnosed, especially if symptoms are not obvious.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, also called gum disease, and should be taken seriously. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress to full-blown gum disease, which can lead to receding and damaged gums as well as bone and tooth loss.
REMEMBER! ALL gum disease starts out at gingivitis!
What Causes Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene. When plaque is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, bacteria-filled plaque hardens and turns into what is called tartar. Plaque and tartar buildup around the gum line cause gum irritation and inflammation or, in other words, gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be caused by faulty dental restorations with overhangs. Oftentimes people are allergic to the metal in a dental restoration. This restoration can be changed and a new crown placed without metal. Then the gingivitis will go away immediately. This is why it is important to have a regular check-up at McOmie Family Dentistry, keeping your signature smile is our business.
Other factors may contribute to the development of gingivitis such as hormonal changes (especially during pregnancy), smoking, certain medications or illnesses, and genetic predisposition.
There is even a link between heart disease and periodontal (gum disease). Keep your gums healthy and it will help keep your heart healthy.
Is Gingivitis Reversible?
Finding out you have gingivitis can be worrisome but here’s the good news: good oral hygiene habits and professional dental cleanings can, in most cases, rid you of gingivitis. This can take a couple of weeks or a few short months. The great thing is gingivitis is easily treated and is reversible.
Proper oral hygiene not only prevents gingivitis but treats it as well. Professional cleanings by our team of hygienists at McOmie Family Dentistry, daily brushing and flossing, and regular use of an antibacterial mouthwash can keep bacteria found in plaque at bay, effectively preventing and treating gingivitis.
So, yes, gingivitis is reversible! By treating it early, and following the instructions of our trained Drs and staff here at McOmie Family Dentistry you can treat gingivitis and smile on!
Keep Your Smile Healthy
A smile shouldn’t only be happy, it should be healthy too! Your oral health is the gateway to your overall health and wellness. So if you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, practice proper oral hygiene care and you’ll have your healthy smile back in no time.
If you have any questions regarding your oral health, call us today at McOmie Family Dentistry at 423-899-1112 or leave us a Facebook message. We make Chattanooga Smile and we’re always glad to address your concerns!