Nearly 50 percent of adults living in the United States are living with some type of gum disease, and among the most prevalent is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease which is caused by plaque; the soft, colorless film composed of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums.
If you have this oral disease, your gums will appear red, swollen and bleed easily when you brush or floss. This is caused by the buildup of bacteria inflaming tissue and collecting in pockets underneath your gums. Other symptoms include receding gum lines, which appear to pull away from your teeth giving them an elongated appearance, and recurring bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth.
The most effective way to prevent early gum disease is by brushing and flossing twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene along with using an antimicrobial mouth rinse (if recommended by your dentist). Additionally you can keep plaque at bay by maintaining a nutritious diet, avoiding cigarettes and tobacco, and scheduling regular six month cleanings since your dental professional is the only one able to remove plaque which has hardened to become tartar.
Damage can be reverse at this early stage, however if left untreated the bacteria can become periodontitis and permanently damage your teeth and jaw, attacking the connective tissues which hold teeth in place.
It is important to remove plaque by brushing and flossing daily as gingivitis is hardly ever painful when it first develops. Check your gum color and texture for signs of gingivitis. Gums should be bright and pink rather than dull and red, also healthy gums will be firm without receding from teeth as opposed to soft and swollen.
For more information or if you are concerned you may be suffering from gingivitis call our office at (303) 659-1064.