What Is Gingivitis?

What Is Gingivitis?Have you heard the term gingivitis on a commercial for mouth rinses and toothpastes? Perhaps, you have heard the term from your dentist. Gingivitis is a disease affecting millions of people across all age groups. As the first stage of progressive gum disease, gingivitis can start off innocuously enough. Usually, a person who has it may not even notice the signs. In the earliest stages, it is common for only your dentist or hygienist to be able to detect it during your routine checkup or cleaning. The earlier that gingivitis is identified, the more time you may have to address it. Ignoring gingivitis can lead to it progressing into the more dangerous stages of gum disease. 

What Causes It?

Just like with tooth decay and chronic bad breath, gingivitis is caused by excessive oral bacteria gathering on your teeth along your gums. As this bacteria builds up along the gum line, they can work their way underneath the gum tissues causing irritation. Irritation of your soft gum tissue can lead to inflammation hence the name gingivitis. The parts of the word are as follows: gingiva refers to gum tissue and -itis refers to inflammation. Along with inflammation, the irritation of the gums can also lead to a harmful infection.

The Dangers of Letting It Progress

Bacteria on your teeth and gums can build up so much that it calcifies into tartar. Once plaque turns into tartar, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning. Your toothbrush and floss cannot remove plaque.  The first symptoms of gingivitis are usually redness, swelling, and occasional bleeding of your gums. As gum disease is allowed to progress, it may cause the gum tissue to recede from your teeth. This gum recession can lead to a further buildup of bacteria, infections, and eventually tooth loss. Gingivitis can be prevented and possibly reversed, but once gum disease advances, you will have it for the rest of your life.

Gingivitis can be prevented

Preventing gingivitis can help keep your mouth healthy. To schedule a consultation with Smith Family Dentistry in Greenville, TX call us at 903-455-5750. We proudly serve patients from Hunt County, Greenville, Royce City, Sulphur Springs, and all surrounding communities.