Understanding Gingivitis

Gingivitis sounds scary, but it is actually one of the most common dental conditions among children and adults! Unless you’re actively looking for signs of gingivitis, most of the time gum disease will go unnoticed until seen by a dental professional, because the symptoms are so mild.

However, just because the symptoms aren’t painful doesn’t mean that gingivitis should go untreated. When ignored, gingivitis can worsen into later stages of gum disease, including Periodontitis and Advanced Periodontitis. Treating gingivitis early on will prevent these later stages that can often cause loose and damaged teeth.

So, how you do you know if you have gingivitis? The best method for determining if you have the early stages of gum disease is by scheduling and attending your regular 6-month checkups. During your visit, your dentist will be able to alert you at the first signs of gingivitis! You can also look for signs and symptoms on your own, including red, tender gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, consistent bad breath, and receding gum lines. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to schedule a visit.

If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, your dentist will want to clean any built-up plaque, and will have the best treatment recommendations based on how advanced it is. If you need a reminder, though, here is what we recommend for treating early signs and prevent future build-ups:

  • Review the proper brushing techniques and make sure you apply them – every single time! It is a good idea to invest in an electric toothbrush for a more detailed cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to floss! Flossing is essential for getting rid of plaque in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for a complete, thorough routine.

If you are concerned you may have gingivitis or need to schedule your routine checkup, give us a call at (757) 609-3510 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.