When it comes to oral health problems, many will instantly think of dental cavities, tooth sensitivity or even crooked teeth. Treating immediate pain or getting a ‘Hollywood smile’ often takes greater precedence over gum health.
However, a lesser known fact about dental health is the presence and risk of gum disease. When soft tissue in the oral cavity is infected, it does not show obvious signs and symptoms, which makes it one of the most dangerous diseases. Very often, when gums start showing symptoms like pain or swelling, gum disease has progressed into an advanced stage (periodontitis).
At its early stage, inflammation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) occurs when there is lack of tooth brushing, causing a layer of plaque to adhere to the surface of your teeth. Without proper tooth brushing, the accumulation of plaque will irritate the gum tissue, and gingivitis occurs. Gum disease can also cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, where plaque and food debris collect, causing bad breath (halitosis).
Some of the classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis are:
- Swollen gums
- Bright red or purple gums
- Gums that are tender or painful to the touch
- Bleeding gums or bleeding after brushing and/or flossing
- Bad breath
The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more advanced stage of periodontal disease called periodontitis and it can cause permanent damage to your teeth.
You can help to stop the process of developing gingivitis by doing the following:
- Regular checkup with your dentist at least twice a year
- Proper tooth brushing and flossing to remove plaque and to control tartar buildup
- Avoid smoking and other forms of tobacco
- Consume diet with the right amount of nutrition for your dental health and overall wellbeing
Do follow our Blog here for more interesting dental related topics. We will be sharing more about Periodontitis, which is the more advanced stage of gum (periodontal) disease in our next post. Stay tuned!