Simply put, gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, and we are all susceptible
to its effects. As a form of
periodontal disease, gingivitis is most often the result of long-term effects of plaque deposits
on the gums. Made of mucus, food debris, and bacteria, plaque is a sticky
substance that develops on the outwardly exposed parts of a person's
teeth and it has been cited as a major cause of tooth decay among sufferers.
When plaque is not removed in a timely manner it can turn into a hard
deposit that is known as tartar which becomes trapped at the base of the
tooth where it can irritate and/ or inflame the gums. The bacteria and
toxins created in this process often cause the gums to become infected,
leading to swelling and tenderness.
What causes gingivitis?
What many people may not know about gingivitis is that it can be caused
by good brushing habits just as easily as it can be caused by neglectful
ones. Vigorous brushing and excessive flossing can cause the gum disease,
as can any general illness, uncontrolled diabetes, hormonal changes caused
during pregnancy and poor dental hygiene. The risk of gingivitis will
be increased when you have misaligned teeth, your fillings have rough
edges, or you frequently use unclean or mis-fitted mouth pieces. The most
common symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are tender to the touch,
gums that appear bright red or reddish-purple, gums that bleed when brushing,
gums that are swollen and appear shiny, and mouth sores.
Have a Top San Diego Dentist Examine Your Mouth!
A San Diego dentist from our office can examine your mouth and determine
whether or not you are suffering from gingivitis. Specifically, we will
be looking for swollen, soft, and/or reddish-purplish gums when we inspect
your mouth. This type of inspection is usually sufficient enough to effect
a determination; however, sometimes an x-ray or dental bone measurement
may need to be taken as a follow-up. When prescribing treatment for gingivitis,
the main goal will be to reduce the inflammation that is currently causing
you to suffer.
Treatment for Gingivitis
A primary treatment for this type of gum disease is simply making sure
that the teeth are thoroughly cleaned by a professional at our office.
In some cases, it will be necessary to realign misplaced teeth in order
to alleviate the problem, and in other cases it may be necessary to replace
certain dental or orthodontic appliances that may be contributing to the
Medications such as phenytoin and some birth control pills have also been
found in correlation with gingivitis, so in some cases the use of these
prescriptions will need to be discontinued. No matter what the circumstances
that led to your gingivitis may be, you can rest assured that we will
do our best to alleviate the problem in the most comfortable way possible.
To learn more,
contact a San Diego dentist at our office.