If you have recently visited our Southampton dentist only to hear you have gingivitis then you might be concerned about what this means and how it will be treated. Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease and the good news is that it is very treatable and can be completely cleared up. It is a bacterial infection that is often caused by oral hygiene being a little bit lax. If you don’t brush your teeth quite thoroughly enough or don’t floss often enough then this can allow plaque bacteria to build up in your mouth. These bacteria produce toxins that infect and inflame your gums, causing the characteristic symptoms of gum disease. If you have gingivitis then you might have noticed your gums have begun to look a bit swollen or red and they may bleed slightly whenever you brush or floss.
Treating gingivitis is quite straightforward and a visit to a hygienist will help tremendously. During this visit your teeth will be thoroughly scaled and polished, a procedure that removes hardened plaque from your teeth which is a substance called tartar. Tartar is incredibly hard which is why it has to be carefully scaled or scraped away using special hand tools. Once all the tartar has been removed, your hygienist will carefully polish your teeth, creating a nice smooth surface that makes it harder for plaque bacteria to adhere. A scale and polish will remove plaque and tartar that have been infecting and inflaming your gums, giving them a chance to heal and repair. It’s also quite a nice treatment for just freshening up your smile and your breath.
At the same time, our hygienist can also talk to you about improving your oral care at home. Often people will think they brush and floss quite diligently but will regularly miss out certain areas. Having someone to show you which areas need more attention and to perhaps work with you to improve your brushing and flossing skills can help tremendously. Afterwards it’s up to you to make sure you brush at least twice a day and that you floss every day. Initially it might make your gums bleed slightly but if you persevere you will notice them gradually becoming stronger and healthier within just a few weeks. So what happens if you ignore the signs of gingivitis?
Gingivitis Can Develop into Something Far More Serious without Treatment
Without prompt treatment gingivitis can soon develop into periodontitis which is a much more serious condition requiring more extensive treatment that may be ongoing just to try to control it. Periodontitis can destroy your gums and the structures surrounding your teeth, which includes bone, eventually leading to tooth loss. It also has the potential to negatively impact your general health which is why we take any form of gum disease extremely seriously. Periodontitis has been linked to a number of serious health conditions that include diabetes and heart disease and some cancers in numerous clinical studies. By working with you, our dentist in Southampton and our friendly dental team can help ensure you do not develop gum disease and regular check-ups are great for picking up any early symptoms.
If you noticed blood on your toothbrush this morning, don’t delay and contact Smilemakers to book an appointment on 02380 442626. If you prefer, you can request a call back through our website at www.smilemakers.co.uk.