There are some diseases that aren’t always easily noticed. While 3 out of 4 people will suffer from gingivitis at some point in their lives, not all of these people will know they have it. There are some signs you can watch out for when it comes to gum disease, and it is vital to pay attention to your teeth. Once gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease, it is irreversible. Here’s what you need to know.
Top Ten Things to Know About Gingivitis
- It Is the First Stage. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and thankfully, it is completely reversible with better dental hygiene, lifestyle changes, and dental treatment. What starts out as inflammation can develop into an irreversible disease known as periodontal disease.
- It Can and Will Progress. Advanced periodontitis causes permanent damage and it can only be managed, not reversed.
- It Does Not Discriminate. Gingivitis can affect anyone at any age. Even children are at risk of developing gum disease. You may have a higher risk if your family members also have gingivitis, if you’re pregnant, or if you smoke.
- It Starts with Bad Habits. Gingivitis is usually caused by bad habits. Neglecting to brush and floss is the easiest way to get gingivitis. Plaque can form in as little as 24 hours, so daily care is essential! Skipping dentist appointments is another bad habit that leads to gingivitis—a professional cleaning from an oral hygienist removes plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing can’t reach.
- It Is Common. Gingivitis is very common, affecting 3 out of 4 people during their lifetimes. While it is more common in smokers, it is vital to be aware of the signs no matter what.
- It Causes Tooth Loss. Gingivitis makes your gums pull away from your teeth. When your gums are inflamed, they start to pull away from the roots of your teeth. This exposes your tooth below the gum line, where it doesn’t have protective enamel, and makes your teeth vulnerable to decay. It also creates “pockets” between your teeth and gums where bacteria can linger and multiply.
- It Sparks Infections. Gingivitis can lead to other infections. If bacteria from your gums get into your bloodstream, they can cause infections in other parts of your body. And, since bleeding gums is one of the most common symptoms of gingivitis, it’s pretty easy for bacteria to spread from your gums to your cardiovascular system.
- It Leads to Bone Loss. Gingivitis can lead to bone loss as well as tooth loss. Gum infections can also spread to your teeth and jaw. If the bacteria make cavities, they can infect the pulp of your tooth and even infect the nerves inside. This is extremely painful and usually leads to a root canal or tooth extraction. And, if the root of the tooth gets infected, the bacteria can spread to your jaw, causing permanent bone loss and further tooth loss.
- It Has Other Health Impacts. Gingivitis complicates other inflammatory conditions. People with inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis often struggle with gingivitis, too. Bacteria in your mouth can trigger arthritis—P. gingivalis, an oral microbe—has been linked to osteoarthritis.
- It Is Preventable. Gingivitis can be prevented. This is the best fact about gingivitis! Daily brushing and flossing, using mouthwash, getting professional cleanings, and other periodontal treatments like laser therapy can slow the progress of gingivitis and even reverse some of its effects.
Prevention Starts with Premier
You may be wondering if you have gum disease with no obvious symptoms. If so, it is time to schedule an appointment with the professional dental team at Premier Dental Center Seguin. We can help you identify any gum issues and talk with you about your dental habits. Remember – you can prevent gingivitis and you can reverse it. Let’s work together for optimal oral health.