If your gums are swollen, irritated or red, you may have gingivitis. While it can be tempting to ignore these signs, gingivitis can be quite severe if left untreated. Serious gum disease and tooth loss can result from gingivitis. Before real troubles begin, make an appointment to see the best dentist in North Raleigh.
The most common causes of gingivitis are a poor oral health routine which can encourage the formation of plaque on your teeth. This plaque can cause inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue. The plaque which stays on your teeth can harden under the gumline and turn into tartar. Tartar is a magnet for bacteria which irritates your gum tissue. The formation of tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and can only be removed during a professional cleaning with the best dentist in North Raleigh. As the tartar and plaque stay on your gums and irritate the gingiva, inflammation occurs. Over time, your gums will become swollen and will bleed easily. Dental caries or tooth decay can happen, and advanced gingivitis can turn into periodontitis and may lead to eventual tooth loss.
Anyone can develop gingivitis, but certain factors can increase your risk of developing it. These factors include:
- Dry mouth
- Chewing tobacco or smoking
- Vitamin C deficiency or poor nutrition
- Leukemia, Cancer, HIV/AIDS or other conditions that decrease immunity
- Hormonal changes related to menopause, the use of birth control, pregnancy or hormone
- replacement therapy
- Viral and fungal infections
- Poor oral care habits
- Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
- Ill-fitting dental restorations
Preventing gingivitis is easier than you may think. A good oral care routine is crucial to the prevention of plaque which can turn into tartar. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day is recommended by the American Dental Association. Remember to floss before you clean so that any stuck food particles or bacteria can be removed during the brushing process. Regular dental visits are also crucial for the prevention of gingivitis. Seeing your dentist every six months for a routine deep cleaning and checkup can help reduce the chances of developing gingivitis especially if you are at risk because of one of the risk factors listed above.
When you visit your dentist be sure to bring a current list of all medications that you are taking and notify your dental care team if you have been diagnosed with any systemic diseases like diabetes, coronary artery disease, respiratory illnesses, rheumatoid arthritis or if you have had a stroke. These conditions and the medications associated with them can create problems for your oral health, and your dental care team will need to watch for signs and symptoms of the issues related to these conditions and medications.
Don’t painful or bleeding gums in 2019. Call today and book your appointment with Dr. Katherine Garrett. We can help you get the smile you’ve been dreaming of with cosmetic dental procedures and whitening treatments. Ask about our new Zoom whitening process that delivers a dramatically whiter smile in just an hour. The best dentist in North Raleigh is here to help you improve your smile!