What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease. Gum disease can be caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky, colorless film on teeth that forms after eating or sleeping. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed. If gingivitis goes untreated, more serious problems such as abscesses, bone loss or periodontitis can occur. The gums can also begin to separate from the teeth, creating even greater opportunities for infection and decay. Although gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, in many cases it is avoidable.
Pregnancy has also been known to cause a form of gingivitis. This has been linked to hormonal changes in the woman’s body that promote plaque production.
How We Treat Gingivitis
The best method for treating gingivitis is a thorough Adult Prophylaxis (dental cleaning) including a special deep clean of the gums followed by at-home oral hygiene regimens including proper brushing and flossing. Instead of the standard twice a year dental visits, patients with gingivitis often undergo follow-up cleanings every two to three months until the condition has cleared.