Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, but that doesn’t mean that this condition won’t have consequences for a patient’s oral health. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis, a condition that can result in tooth and bone loss.
Not only does gum disease, including gingivitis, have the potential to wreak havoc on a patient’s dental health, it also has ramifications for the patient’s overall well-being. Gum disease appears to have a correlation with a number of systemic issues, like heart disease, diabetes and premature birth, among others.
Getting prompt treatment for gingivitis is another compelling reason to visit your dentist at least every six months. Dental appointments at such brief intervals allow your dentist to monitor your gums (and your teeth) for even minor changes that could indicate a problem.
During a routine dental exam, the best dentist will examine the gums for the signs of periodontal disease, looking for even seemingly innocuous symptoms like mild swelling or redness or light bleeding in the gum tissue after flossing.
Fortunately, gingivitis is the most readily treatable stage of periodontal disease. It typically responds to a thorough professional cleaning and follow-up with a daily oral hygiene regimen at home. However, when gingivitis advances into more severe forms of periodontal disease, the treatment is more invasive.
Good oral hygiene habits can reduce the likelihood that you’ll develop gingivitis or cut your risk of a relapse. Be sure to brush thoroughly, with the brush angled toward the gumline, for two minutes, two times a day. Daily flossing also will help to keep gum disease-causing oral bacteria at bay.
Don’t take gingivitis for granted. If you’ve noticed symptoms like swelling and bleeding, bring them to your dentist’s attention so that you can get treatment before your gum disease gets worse. Ultimately, taking action to address gingivitis will give your overall health a boost, too.
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