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Gingivitis: Symptoms and Causes in South Bend

What Causes Periodontal Disease and What Are Its Symptoms?

Whether you’ve noticed minor bleeding when you brush or floss or you’re experiencing bad breath more frequently, you may be experiencing the signs of gum disease. It is, unfortunately, very common among adults. The incidence increases with age and it’s more common in men than in women. The CDC reports that more than 47 percent of those who are 30 years or more are in some stage of gingival disease and for those who are 65 years and older, the number rises to over 70 percent. Untreated gingival disease can cause you to lose both your teeth and your physical health, so read on for tips on curing and preventing gum disease.

Are There Ways to Prevent the Development of Periodontal Disease?

The best method for preventing the onset of gingival disease is to practice good oral hygiene. When you eat, especially foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, the bacteria in your mouth latch onto the food and begin to form a substance called plaque. Since plaque formation is a continuous occurrence, it’s vital that you brush and floss at least daily so that the plaque is removed. The bacteria in your mouth are necessary to aid in your digestive system, so you don’t want to have a bacteria-free mouth. However, you need to keep the plaque from settling between your teeth and turning into tartar, so you need to brush and floss between meals and before bed. When plaque remains on your teeth, it becomes a very hard substance called tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist.

When tartar and plaque are left on the teeth for a long time, they can cause inflammation. This can lead to tooth decay and chronic periodontitis, which is an infection of the bone and tissue around the teeth, and eventually, you’ll lose your teeth.

Can You Recognize These Common Symptoms of Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is largely asymptomatic, so you may have it for a while but be unaware of it. Healthy gums should be light pink, firm, and they should fit snugly around your teeth. If they don’t, then you may have the beginning of gum disease, which is called gingivitis. Other signs of this disease include the following:

  • A change in your tooth spacing
  • Bleeding when you floss or brush
  • Changes in the color of your gums, such as from pink to red or purple
  • Loosened teeth
  • Pain or discomfort when you chew
  • Perpetual halitosis or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive, swollen or painful gums

One or more of these symptoms can indicate that you are in one of the stages of gingival disease, so don’t delay in scheduling an appointment with your dentist.

Do You Know the Common Causes of Gingivitis?

The primary cause of developing gingivitis or having it escalate into chronic periodontitis is a lack of good oral hygiene. When you eat properly and drink adequate amounts of clear water, you provide a less attractive environment for the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Regular flossing and brushing, accompanied by regular dental checkups can significantly lower the likelihood of your developing gum disease.

Do You Know the Common Risk Factors for Gingivitis?

Gingivitis can occur to anyone, regardless of their circumstances, but a lack of good oral hygiene is the primary cause. Other factors can make you more susceptible to developing gingivitis, such as the following:

  • A genetic tendency to develop gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of adequate nutrition, especially if your diet lacks vitamin C
  • Medications that cause dry mouth, whether they’re by prescription or over-the-counter
  • Restorative dental work such as bridges, fillings and appliances that are defective or fit poorly
  • Tobacco use, whether you smoke it or chew it
  • Variations in your hormone levels

If you have any of these factors, then you’re more likely to develop gingival disease, so it’s imperative that you maintain a good oral hygiene regimen.

Can Periodontal Disease Jeopardize Your Good Health?

Not only can gingival disease jeopardize the health of your teeth and gums, but it can also jeopardize your major organs and your overall physical health. Research has indicated that:

  • Men who had gingival disease were 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers, 49 percent more likely to develop cancer of the kidneys, and 54 percent more likely to develop cancer in their pancreas.
  • Those who had diabetes and uncontrolled blood glucose levels were more likely to have gum disease.
  • Those with gingivitis were almost three times more likely to have blocked arteries, which can result in a stroke.
  • The risk of cardiac disease increases for those who have gingivitis.
  • The bacteria in the mouth of those with gum disease can travel to the lungs and cause diseases such as pneumonia.

For your good physical health as well as your good oral health, make sure that you practice good oral hygiene and get regular dental checkups as part of the process.

Do You Know the Best Ways to Prevent and Treat Gum Disease?

The best prevention for gum disease is a regimen of good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice each day, floss at least once each day, and have regular dental checkups, annually at a minimum. However, be sure to ask your dentist for input on the best oral hygiene practices for your unique circumstances. When plaque and tartar aren’t removed from your teeth, they can cause you to lose your teeth, damage the ligaments and bone around your teeth, and cause structural deformity in your face. The best method for preventing this is to have good oral hygiene practices.

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, then call our office to schedule an appointment. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online, but it’s important to take the initial step and make an appointment. Contact us today, we look forward to working with you.

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