What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is gum disease that occurs because bacteria is not removed daily from the teeth and gum line. Good dental home habits with daily flossing and brushing is crucial.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease, or periodontal disease. If you ignore the signs of gingivitis because you don’t recognise them or because you are worried about seeking care from a dentist, your condition will probably get worse. Gingivitis that goes untreated may progress to periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease, that damages the bone supporting the teeth. Periodontitis or periodontal disease alone is a serious condition, but data from several clinical studies has shown that periodontitis increases your risk of having a stroke or heart attack, though other studies do not show the same correlation. We do know for sure that dental health reflects overall health.
If you develop periodontitis, your gums may be too infected to be treated with just a single dental cleaning. You may want to see a periodontist, a dentist with a specialty in treating gum disease. In general, if the space (dentists call this a pocket) between your teeth and gums is 5 mm or less, the periodontist or dental hygienist may treat the problem with a combination of scaling (the act of removing the tartar and plaque) and root planing (smoothing the surface of the roots of the teeth to help prevent tartar from building up again). But if the space between your teeth and gums has progressed to more than 5mm, you may require some type of surgery with a periodontist as well as deeper cleaning under the gums.
No matter how your gum disease is treated, it is important to stick to an oral care routine of brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day or more, depending on your dentist or periodontist’s instructions. Seeing the dentist and dental hygienist every 6 months, and removing the hardened plaque deposits and stains that we all get caked on to our teeth, along with diligent home care, is the way to prevent gum disease.
Need another reason to prevent gum disease for women? Being pregnant. Studies have shown that pregnant women with periodontal disease are more likely to have a premature infant compared to women with healthy gums.