5 Common Signs of Gingivitis

What is gingivitis in the first place? Gingivitis is a form of gum disease. The most common symptom of gingivitis is inflamed gums. And in case you’re wondering why someone may have gingivitis, the primary reason is poor oral hygiene.

Bacterial contamination across the gums is the start of gingivitis, following which, bacteria find their way underneath the gums to infect and inflame the tissues and eat away at the bone structure. In some cases, the experience could be associated with pain, while in others, the victim may experience no pain at all.

Therefore, it is important to know some of the common signs associated with gingivitis. The following 5 of such common signs will help you with exactly that:

1. Red and Swollen Gums 

Gums are meant to be pink and firm. Red gums indicate an infection of one kind or another. Red and swollen gums are the most common symptoms of gum disease. In some cases, you may even notice your gums bleeding when you brush or floss.

2. Bleeding Gums 

Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing could still be indicative of a mild or severe infection that requires a dental consultation. But what if your gums bleed without any apparent cause? It is possible it came from gingivitis or something more serious happening in the mouth. In this situation you should be booking a visit with your Family Dentist or Hygienist.

3. Pain and Heightened Sensitivity

The pain that you experience during gingivitis varies from being mild to severe. However, it’s always associated with swollen gums. If gingivitis has been left untreated for long enough, you may even begin to experience heightened tooth sensitivity. Recession or bone loss due to these aggressive bacteria, can expose more tooth structure causing a patient pain or discomfort.

4. Persistent Bad Breath

Bad breath can be caused by several different environmental groups. But most commonly from your bacterial metabolism. When there are too many of these bacteria present, the smell will be very potent and no matter how much you brush your teeth, it’s not going to go away. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that, the source is residing underneath the gums, where you can not properly clean.

5. Loose Teeth

Your teeth are kept firm in their places by the gums and bone within the mouth. To have strong teeth, you need strong gums and healthy bone levels. However, when your gums are infected, they lose their strength and further effect the level of bone which can lead to your teeth becoming loose or mobile.

Your teeth may become loose due to numerous reasons and each of them requires immediate attention from the dentist. If your loose teeth are specifically accompanied by swollen and red gums and bad breath, it’s an obvious sign of infection.

Having gone through the signs, if you think you have gingivitis, please contact one of our locations for assistance now. There’s no better way to prevent gingivitis in the first place than to go in for regular dental visits. Preventive care is key when it comes to sustaining good oral health and over-all systemic health.

What is Gingivitis and What to Do to Prevent It

Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Is it sore or outright painful when you eat? Do you have bad breath that mouthwash doesn’t cover up? Are your gums red or purple and swollen? Do they feel squishy, like a gummy bear? Do your gums look like they are receding? It’s very possible you have gingivitis.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of tissues around the teeth (also known as your gums or gingiva). When it first starts, you may not even notice it. It is the very early development stage of “Periodontitis”. The gums become red and painfully swollen at this stage. Eventually it gets to the point where is causes bleeding when you floss or even brush your teeth. It can also cause sleepless nights with an aching mouth.

How to know if you have gingivitis?

These are the symptoms of gingivitis that will help you know if you have one:

  • Swollen and Red Gums
  • Pain
  • Frequent Gum Bleeding
  • Receding Gums
  • Halitosis or Bad Breath
  • Fever (Early Stage)
  • General Feeling of Being Unwell
  • Bleeding on Tooth Brushing

What are some causes of gingivitis?

Poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of gingivitis. Bacteria build up around your gum line, causing a sticky plaqueto form on your teeth. If you don’t remove it, it hardens into tartar which in turn irritates the gums, causing them to inflame. This is why adequate brushing and flossing is required!

Did you know that regular smokers get gingivitis more often than non-smokers? Harmful substances such as nicotine and tar from cigarettes (or chewing tobacco) get introduced into the body. It should be no surprise that these can cause stains on teeth, halitosis, gum problems, oral thrush, cancers, cavities or tooth decay, etc. Nicotine also interferes with how our body responds to bacteria as it impairs thebody’simmune functions.

Hormone changes during puberty, menopause and the menstrual cycle can also cause sensitivity in the gingiva.

Pregnancy is another possible cause. As stated by PubMed.gov, ovarian hormones such as estrogen and progesterone rise at this stage causing pregnant women to be more likely to experience gingivitis. It is said that gingivitis generally occurs to 60-75% of pregnant women, but if they practice good oral hygiene in the beginning of pregnancy, the rate will only be 0.3%.

Nutritional Deficiency is also a possible cause. Lack of good nutrition can affect one’s health causing various health problems including gingivitis. Vitamin C deficiency is linked to gum disease (think scurvy).

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) leads to a higher risk of gingivitis. Having HIV is a serious matter, it reduces the immune system’s effectiveness which affects all the body systems. The mouth will be a good indication if you have an immunodeficiency through observing it. At an early stage of HIV, several symptoms will show up especially in your mouth.

  • Dryness of Mouth & Cavities
  • Oral lesions
  • Thrush
  • Gum Disease/Gingivitis
  • Hairy Leukoplakia (A condition causing white lesions, or patches, on the tongue)
  • Periodontitis
  • Oral Cancer

These symptoms might give you a sign whether you have existing HIV or not. But, the most effective way in knowing such is to get tested and you’re off to go. Getting tested is far more reliable than doubting yourself.

Medications may also lead to gingivitis. Drugs like anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and immunosuppressants can cause gingival overgrowth. Make sure that the next time you visit your dentist, you mention ALL medications and supplements you are (or were) taking.

Diabetics have to be even more careful. If you’re diabetic and you accidentally brushed your teeth hard, you could cause your gums to become inflamed or swollen. Because you have high levels of blood glucose, it can take significantly longer for your gingivitis to heal. This is because decreased blood circulation makes it hard for the body to repair wounds. If you are diabetic and suspect gingivitis, you should seek medical assistance right away.

Stress is linked to suppressing the immune system which will affect the general functions in the body which can lead to gum disease.

How do you treat gingivitis?

  • The cure starts within you. Always make to brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night. Be smart in choosing toothbrush as their textures could differ.
  • Soft bristled toothbrush is highly recommended. When brushing your teeth, don’t scrub too hard as it will irritate the swollen gums and may cause bleeding.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Flossing is also a good way to deep clean your teeth and gum line.
  • Stop smoking. This is a very important advice for all smokers, your oral health is not just in danger, you are prone to lung cancer and other health risks.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is imperitive. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it can be one of the easiest things to help ensure good health.

As part of proper oral hygiene, visiting your dentist every 6 – 9 months is highly advisable. If you have multiple factors affecting your risk of gingivitis, it may be recommended that you come more often.

If you have pain or bleeding in your mouth or think you have gingivitis a check up and cleaning may be all it takes but we’ll be able to put you on the path to proper oral care.

Give us a call at 587 317 7713 Or CLICK HERE to contact us

 

High-Risk Dental Factors from Diabetes: Part 1 – What You Should Know   

If you have diabetes, you’re most probably aware of the problems to your body this disease can cause. But, were you aware high blood sugar, due to diabetes, also affects your teeth and gums?

 

The fact is, high blood sugar can increase your risk of:

 

Cavities:

  • It’s a known fact that sugar contributes to the level of plaque build-up in your mouth. The higher your blood sugar level, the more plaque build-up you can expect. If not properly taken care of, you can count on having cavities.

 

progression of gum disease
progression of gum disease

Gingivitis:

  • You’ve probably heard the terms ‘tartar’ and ‘plaque’ used interchangeably by some people. But they are two different things. The fact is tartar is hardened plaque that builds up under your gum line. Diabetes affects the way your body fights bacteria which begins the process of forming plaque. If you don’t stay on top of eliminating the bacteria through regular brushing and flossing, the plaque forms, and tartar begins to affect the gums at the base of your teeth. This process leads to gingivitis.

 

Periodontitis:

  • If gingivitis isn’t treated properly, periodontitis sets in which begins to eat away at the bone and soft tissue that actually support your teeth. This can lead to tooth loss. People with diabetes tend to have more severe cases of periodontitis because they’re slower to heal and have a weakened ability to fight infection. As an aside, periodontitis can also make your blood sugar levels rise.

 

In this case, if you have diabetes, the best defense if a good offence. Brushing and flossing without fail is a great way to ward of these issues.

 

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GUM DISEASE, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.

 

Also, for further information, make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at West Airdrie Dental at 587 317 7713 or click here to visit our website.

Dental Health During Pregnancy: Part 2 – How Dental Disease Affects Your Baby When You’re Pregnant

An earlier blog revealed how gum disease in pregnant women and hormone levels can increase the likelihood of inflamed or bleeding gums. Further, a connection between low birth weight or premature birth and gum disease has been found through research.

Premature babies have a higher risk of poor health conditions. These can include bad eyesight and hearing, or even cerebral palsy. In fact, some estimates show that 18% of premature births may be the result of chronic gum infection (periodontal disease).

But not to fear – there are things you can begin to do even before you become pregnant in order to decrease the risk of premature birth for your baby as a result of gum disease!

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, there are some things you should do and others to consider

  • pregnant woman getting dental checkup helps prevent gum disease during pregnancy
    pregnant woman getting dental checkup helps prevent gum disease during pregnancy

    You’re probably already trying to be as healthy as possible.

  • Be sure you’re brushing twice a day with a toothpaste that has fluoride.
  • Floss regularly
  • Make sure you see your dentist for all of your cleanings as well.
  • If you have plans to have any elective procedures done, be sure you do them before you begin trying to become pregnant. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, typically dentists don’t like to do procedures that aren’t an emergency.
  • There are some non-emergency procedures that can still be done after the first trimester and your dentist can make those recommendations.

Once you become pregnant, it’s important that you let your dentist know as soon as you find out.  It’s vital that your dentist is made aware of any nutritional supplements, prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Because of your pregnancy, there may now be a need to re-evaluate the procedures being considered, or discuss any options regarding anesthesia, x-rays, and other relevant information.

Want to know more? West Airdrie Dental is pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to your dental health. Why not get your copy now? THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO: How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Dentist, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.

For additional information, to make an appointment, or have a question answered, please call us at 587-317-7713 or click here to visit our website.