Thursday, May 9, 2013

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth and is caused by plaque. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. This is one of the reasons that seeing your dentist regularly is so important - you may be able to avoid gum disease just be seeing your dentist regularly!

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures
If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced gum disease can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

Remember, you don't have to lose teeth to gum disease! Brush twice daily, floss daily, and make sure you visit your dentist every six months for a lifetime of healthy smiles!


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