Have you noticed lately that your gums are frequently swollen or bleeding? Are your family and friends commenting about how bad your breath is, even if you regularly brush your teeth?
Halitosis, swollen, and bleeding gums – these are just the common symptoms of gingivitis. This dental problem is not really life-threatening. However, it can be painful and debilitating. Depending on how severe your condition is, you can save your gums with a dentist’s help, your own hygiene efforts, and of course, your knowledge about it. Read this short article to learn more about this gum disease.
1. What is gingivitis?
This is a type of periodontal disease wherein the gums, or gingiva, that surrounds your teeth, become inflamed or swollen. This is actually one of the most common types of periodontal problems. Inflammation usually occurs when the body is trying to fend off an overwhelming invasion of bacteria in the mouth. The mouth is one of the best breeding grounds for harmful microorganisms because it is warm, moist, and there is a constant supply of food.
If this is not treated immediately, it can lead to receding gums, and might even become periodontitis.
2. Diagnosis and when to seek medical care
As mentioned earlier, the most common signs of this gum disease are swelling and halitosis. If the condition is not that severe, you can consult your dentist about it. Regular brushing and flossing, plus frequent visits to your trusted dentist can curb the bleeding and swelling. However, if the symptoms still continue, you need to consult with a doctor to check any other possible illnesses.
For the diagnosis, dentists can easily identify if you have gingivitis based on your dental history or oral exam. X-rays, blood tests, or collecting tissue samples may also be required.
3. Treatment and prevention
Answering the question what is gingivitis also entails suggesting treatments.
When treating this condition, the main goal is to eliminate the primary cause of infection. There are simple ways to do this. The first one is through proper brushing. Ideally, you should use fluoride toothpaste to avoid plaque and bacteria building. You should also floss to make sure that plaque is removed in hard to reach areas.
Regular visits to the dentist are a must because they have adequate tools to clean the teeth, and remove hardened plaque more effectively.
For severe cases, you also need to take antibiotics and seek additional help from a physician. The medications will aid the body in fending off bad bacteria, and prevent the gums from swelling further. However, keep in mind that you should consult your dentist first before taking any antibiotics.
To wrap things up, this gum disease is not really life-threatening as long you take precautionary measures, and follow good dental practices.