Gingivitis is the early stages of gum disease. Early symptoms are often easy to miss, but the sooner you can bring them to the attention of your dentist, the sooner you can begin treatment. If gingivitis is not treated, it can develop into more severe problems and can even lead to tooth loss.
Early Symptoms of Gingivitis
Inflammation of the gums occurs due to bacteria building up on the teeth and under the gumline. The gums can become infected over time and eventually pull away from the teeth, exposing the top portions of the roots. If the gums draw back far enough, the teeth become loose and can eventually fall out.
In the early stages, the symptoms of gingivitis are less dramatic, but it’s important to know when your gums might be inflamed so you can treat the issue in its early stages. Early symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Red or purplish tinge to the gum tissues
- Space between the gum and the teeth
- Tenderness or sensitivity
During your regular checkups, your dentist or dental hygienist will measure the spaces between the gums and teeth to see if they have developed into pockets. Deep pockets indicate gum disease has progressed to a moderate or serious level.
If detected earlier enough, treatment for gingivitis is fairly simple and involves bringing the initial inflammation under control. If left too long, though, treatment becomes more complicated and can involve surgery, gum grafts, and other invasive procedures.
Gingivitis can be prevented by maintaining good everyday oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly is the best defense against the bacteria that cause inflammation. Visit your family dentist regularly, as well, for a professional teeth cleaning and to have your gums looked at for signs of inflammation. If there is any indication of gingivitis developing, your family dentist can prescribe treatment that will keep it from progressing and becoming serious gum disease.
Call our office to schedule an appointment today!