HOW IS GINGIVITIS TREATED?
The best cure for gingivitis is to catch it early. This is especially true for people who are prone to developing periodontal disease, a bacterial infection where the bone is eaten away from around the roots of the teeth causing them to become loose and wobbly. This happens to around a quarter of the adult population.
Gingivitis is the earliest, mildest stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums may become red and slightly swollen and they may bleed easily. Most people experience very little discomfort on a day-to-day basis, at this stage, so they may not bother to see the dentist. Even if you see your dentist regularly, schedule an extra appointment as soon as possible if you notice redness, swelling or bleeding in your gums, even if it isn't painful. Early intervention is the key to combatting the infection before it becomes serious.
Some medical conditions make you more likely to develop gingivitis. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, are being treated for cancer, or having other hormonal changes, you are at increased risk. Even if you are perfectly healthy, you should still pay attention to your oral health and see your dentist at the early signs of gingivitis.
Your genes may be against you. Research has shown that approximately 30 percent of the human population overall is at increased risk for gum disease independent of other health factors.
The best intervention for gingivitis is twice yearly professional dental cleaning. Then it’s up to you to maintain a consistent oral health care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. In addition, your dental hygienist or dentist may recommend a mouth rinse as part of an early intervention to help keep plaque at bay, although this is usually only if the condition of the gums is exceptionally bad.
MY GUMS BLEED WHEN I BRUSH. IS THIS A PROBLEM?
We would be very concerned if another part of our body was bleeding when we touched it. Bleeding from the gums is a sign that there is disease either in the gums around the teeth, or the bone that supports it. In some cases, with professional scaling and cleaning, careful monitoring of the gums and modifications to home care, the gums can become healthy again. In other cases, where there is irreversible and extreme damage, extensive dental treatment may be required with your dentist, dental hygienist and specialist care.