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 gingivitis.
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.