Gingivitis, or gum disease, is one of those ailments one dreads hearing they have. It usually develops when oral care falls by the wayside, so it can easily be prevented with proper dental routines. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis and can cause tooth loss.
Your gums actually attach to the teeth at a lower point than the gum edges. Food can get trapped in this space and cause a gum infection or gingivitis. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria on the surface of your teeth. When you don’t brush, it hardens and becomes tartar. Left unchecked, gingivitis can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. This can cause injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth, causing them to fall out.
The problem is many people aren’t aware that they have gingivitis. It’s possible to have gum disease without any symptoms, and without regular dental checkups, it can go completely undetected. However, the following can be symptoms of gingivitis:
- red, tender, or swollen gums
- bleeding when brushing or flossing
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- loose teeth
- a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite (malocclusion)
- pus between teeth and gums
- pain when chewing
- sensitive teeth
- partial dentures that no longer fit
- foul-smelling breath that does not go away after you brush your teeth
Remember, practicing good oral hygiene is essential to your oral health. Preventative care starts at home, not in your dentist’s chair every six months.
If you’re interested in learning more about gingivitis, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.