What Is Gingivitis And How Serious Is It?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that occurs when harmful bacteria in the mouth start attacking this tissue.

While it's reversible and easy to treat, it’s crucial to know the signs of gingivitis and see a dentist as soon as possible. Left unchecked, the condition could result in irreparable damage to your teeth and overall oral health. 

What Are the Signs of Gingivitis?

You may have gingivitis if you experience any of the following recurring symptoms:

  • Bleeding when you floss your teeth
  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Highly sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away even right after brushing your teeth, etc.

Gingivitis usually forms because of poor oral hygiene habits, which allow plaque to build up on the teeth. This is a film of bacteria that, over time, can harden and become tartar, which looks like yellow deposits, usually near the gum line. If you look at your teeth and see tartar and are also experiencing the above symptoms, then you’re most likely dealing with gingivitis.

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

Your exact treatment can depend on how advanced the condition is, but gingivitis is most often treated with a deep cleaning.

This is like a professional dental cleaning, where a dentist uses special tools and products to break down the tartar and remove it from your teeth. But sometimes, patients with gingivitis can also develop tartar underneath the gums, in which case a deep cleaning will also focus on these areas as well. 

Apart from deep cleaning, you may also need to use antibiotic gel if you have the beginning stages of an infection and improve your oral hygiene habits to help your gums heal and prevent future gingivitis.

What Happens If Gingivitis Goes Untreated?

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, a severe infection that could lead to:

  • Gum retraction, which makes the teeth look longer
  • Loose teeth
  • Permanent tooth loss

Moreover, the effects of gum disease are permanent and will require additional dental work to correct them. It’s why you should treat this condition in the gingivitis stage when it hasn’t caused significant damage yet.

Can You Prevent Gingivitis?

There are three things you need to do to prevent gingivitis:

  • Improve oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily before bed.
  • Have a tooth-friendly lifestyle: Don’t smoke, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and cleanse your mouth with water after every meal.
  • See the dentist every six months. Get a professional dental cleaning routinely to remove plaque and tartar buildup before it leads to gingivitis.

Treat Your Gums to Modern Dentistry

If you’ve noticed the signs of gingivitis, come see Dr. Brad for an appointment to access a personalized treatment plan that can restore your oral health.

Request a visit to Modern Dentistry, online or call our office at (219) 464-9681 today.

"I am a dentist who loves being a dentist. No judging, no moral high horse. Just honest, quality dental care provided with passion."

 – Dr. Brad Wisowaty

What are you waiting for? Get your oral health on track