Understanding the Consequences of Early Gum Disease
The term gingivitis refers to a mild form of periodontal disease in which the underlying tissues and bones that support the teeth are not destroyed. It is often reversible when treated early, but if left untreated, it may progress to the more serious periodontitis, which is often responsible for premature tooth loss in adults. A mild case of gingival inflammation may not cause any noticeable symptoms, so you may not know you have it until your dentist sees the damage. For this reason, it is important to schedule regular dental checkups.
Common Symptoms and Signs of Gingival Inflammation
Signs of early gum inflammation include the following:
- Bright red or purple gums
- Painful, tender gums
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Receding gums or teeth that appear progressively longer
Causes of Gum Disease
The primary cause of gingival inflammation is accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque and tartar between and around tooth surfaces. Other risk factors include smoking, hormonal changes, family history and certain diseases and medications.
Care and Treatment
Early gingivitis is often reversible with diligent care. First, accumulated plaque and tartar must be removed by a deep cleaning or scaling. The procedure is not painful, but it may be uncomfortable if your diseased gums are tender. Next, your dentist will help you optimize your oral hygiene routine to keep plaque at bay. If you have orthodontic problems such as crooked teeth that interfere with your oral hygiene, you may need to get them treated so you can clean your teeth thoroughly. In some cases, your dentist may recommend medicated mouth rinses or other antimicrobial products to help fight infection. Therapeutic dental cleanings may be repeated if necessary.
Potential Complications of Gum Disease
If left untreated, early gum disease can lead to the following complications:
- Tooth loss
- Ulceration of gums
- Gingival abscess or infection
- Abscess or infection of the jaw bone
- Possible increased risk of cardiovascular or lung disease
To avoid complications and costly, invasive treatments, keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Fredericksburg, call Dental One Associates of Fredericksburg today at (540) 765-4655 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Fredericksburg. With 6 affiliated practices throughout Virginia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Fredericksburg, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Fredericksburg.