A fairly mild form of gum disease, gingivitis may be thought of as the first step along the road to the serious condition known as periodontitis, or periodontal disease; a serious threat to your dental health which can, if left untreated, cause total tooth loss, as well as a threat to your general health, should the infection spread from your gums to other parts of your body.
Since this mild infection is rarely painful, you may be completely unaware of the fact that you have gingivitis, at least until the infection develops into something more serious and more painful.
Gingivitis symptoms may include one or all of the following:
- Inflamed and swollen gums
- Softer, puffier gums
- Shrinking gums
- Sensitive gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing
- Darkened, reddened gums
- Halitosis, or persistent bad breath
In the case of gingivitis, prevention is definitely the most effective cure.
What is the Cause of Gingivitis?
Without question, the most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to your dental professional for examinations and cleaning, are the cure before the problem develops. Should you begin to develop any of the symptoms listed above, a visit to your dentist is critical to stemming the tide and preventing the milder infection from becoming the more serious condition of periodontitis.
If left untreated, gingivitis may easily progress to a more serious case of gum disease, which can be very painful and which may lead to the loss of one, or many, teeth. To avoid the need for tooth replacement therapy due to a preventable infection, visit your dentist immediately is you suspect you may have gingivitis.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.