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Do you have bleeding gums? Time to check for gingivitis.

Do your gums bleed when you floss or brush?  Are your gums puffy or swollen, dark red, and tender to touch.   These are all signs and symptoms of gingivitis

What is Gingivitis?   

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums which is usually caused by a bacterial infection.   If gingivitis is left untreated or neglected, it can progress into periodontitis.   A major cause of adult tooth loss is gingivitis and periodontitis.   In addition, gingivitis has been connected and linked to heart disease and stroke.

What are the Warning Signs of Gingivitis?

The early warning signs of gingivitis are bad breath, red, puffy, and inflamed gums, bleeding after brushing and flossing.  

What are the Causes of Gingivitis?

Some of the causes of gingivitis is smoking, improper brushing and flossing, plaque accomulation around wisdom teeth , orthodontic bands, anchor teeth of removable appliance, fixed applianced, and teeth that are malpositioned or crooked, diabetes, pregancy, oral contraceptive usage, medications that cause gingival hyperplasia, and poor oral hygiene.

How to prevent gingivitis.

Gingivitis is a reversible condition that can be treated with a professional cleaning to remove plaque and calculus build up.   Along with a regular checkup and cleaning at the dentist, brushing twice a day and daily flossing is essential.   In some cases, a prescribed antibacterial mouth rinse is known as cholorhexidine gluconate is needed as a supplement.   Your dentist should be able to confirm the extent of your gum disease along with the recommended checkup period ( 3 months or 6 month intervals)  and home maintenance instructions ( brushing, flossing, and mouthwash usage).  However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis which is irreversible and the outcome isn’t promising at times.   

In summary, it is essential in obtaining regular dental checkups to help keep gum disease under control.  If you the symptoms described above, be sure to ask your dentist about the issues at your next dental appointment.