Gingivitis FAQ: Recognizing, Preventing, And Treating the Disease

Gingivitis is the most common and least severe form of gum disease (periodontal disease). It has been estimated that at least 47% of all American adults suffer from gingivitis. At the office of Wesley C. Wise, DDS & Assoc, we want our patients to be well-informed about common dental health issues. Here are a few frequently asked questions about gingivitis along with their answers to help you keep an eye out for this common disease:  

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of bacteria between your gums and teeth. This is typically the result of poor oral hygiene though genetics can also play a role in the disease. If you do not brush and floss properly, bacteria builds up into a clear, sticky substance called plaque. This plaque coats your gums and teeth and eventually hardens into tartar.

Over time, this tartar can begin to infect your gums. This leads to symptoms that include inflammation, bleeding of the gums, and a receding gum line. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress and permanently damage your teeth and gums.

How Do I Know If I Have Gingivitis?

Look for the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding when brushing your teeth
  • Inflamed or swollen gums
  • Dark, purple or red gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Soft gums
  • Tenderness in the gums
  • Increased tooth sensitivity

All of these symptoms could indicate that you have gingivitis. If you notice these signs, call us today to schedule periodontal care.

What Are The Risk Factors For Gingivitis?

Poor oral hygiene is the main risk factor. However, there are some other things that can contribute to a higher risk of gingivitis, such as:

  • A diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain types of medication like steroids, oral contraceptives, chemotherapy and some types of anticonvulsants

How Can Gingivitis Be Prevented?

The best way to treat gingivitis is to see a dentist for periodontal care and make sure you are brushing and flossing regularly. This will ensure that plaque is removed from your mouth, and gingivitis is reversed.

Do I Need Treatment From A Dentist To Treat Gingivitis?

The most minor cases of gingivitis can sometimes be treated by simply brushing and flossing properly, and making a few lifestyle changes like smoking cessation or adopting a diet that’s lower in sugar. However, we still recommend that you get treatment from a professional like Dr. Wise to ensure that your condition does not worsen and that you eliminate the infection completely.

Does Gingivitis Cause Permanent Damage To My Mouth?

No. Gingivitis is the most minor stage of gum disease, and will not cause permanent damage to your mouth unless it is left untreated and progresses into periodontitis or advanced periodontitis. These stages of gum disease are not reversible and will cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums. This is why it’s so critical to get proper periodontal care for gingivitis from Dr. Wise.

Need Periodontal Treatment In Oak Park? Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Gingivitis is common and can easily be reversed with proper care, oral hygiene, and lifestyle changes. If you don't get help, it can easily progress into periodontitis and pose a serious threat to your oral health. If you think you may have gingivitis, get care from Dr. Wise right away. To get started, just contact us at (708) 524-0330, or come to our office at 137 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301