Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. When left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a later stage of gum disease, periodontitis, which can result in a wide range of health problems, including infections and tooth loss. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, bleeding, and receding gums. If you see any signs of gingivitis, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible! In this article, we’ll talk about the potential causes of gingivitis and what you can do to prevent it! If you have any questions about gingivitis or are looking for a dentist in the Southern Maine region, contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine today!
What Causes Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene causes plaque, a bacteria-rich film, to develop on the surface of the teeth. When plaque is not effectively removed, it eventually will harden the gumline into tartar, which is a hard, calcified form of plaque. The tartar on the teeth and under the gumline will eventually start to irritate the gums and cause inflammation, which is classified as gingivitis. As mentioned above, gingivitis will eventually develop into periodontitis (when left untreated), a more advanced stage of gum disease that can cause tooth loss and infections.
How To Prevent Gingivitis
The best prevention for gingivitis is good oral hygiene. Below, we’ll talk about some of the things that you can do to make sure that your everyday oral hygiene routine is at its best!
Brush & Floss Regularly
Brush your teeth twice daily; once in the morning and once at night before you go to bed. You should also ensure you are flossing at least once a day. Flossing is equally as important as brushing, and doing it right before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food and bacteria.
Avoid Sugary Foods
A healthy diet is important for maintaining oral health. Try to limit your intake of food and drinks that contain excessive amounts of sugar. If you do end up eating sugary foods, be sure to rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth right after!
See A Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups & cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing gingivitis. You should see your dentist for a checkup and cleanings every six months! Not only can dental checkups help prevent gingivitis, but they can also identify other problems with your oral health that may otherwise go unnoticed.
One more tip for preventing gingivitis is to avoid nicotine-containing products. Habits like smoking and using chewing tobacco can seriously damage your oral health. Try swapping these for a healthier habit, as advised by your dentist!
Contact Gentle Dental Maine
If you have any additional questions about gingivitis, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!