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Posted on: July 16, 2020
Gingivitis: Symptoms and Causes in Sarasota, FL
What Causes Gingivitis and Are There Common Symptoms?
If you seem to have perpetual bad breath or notice some bleeding when you brush or floss, then you may have gingivitis. These two warning signs can indicate that you need to have a dental checkup, so don’t ignore them. Read on for more information about gingival disease, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.
Can the Development of Periodontal Disease Be Prevented?
According to the CDC, more than 47 percent of adults who are 30 and older have some stage of gingival disease and of those who are 65 or older, the number rises to more than 70 percent! Since this is a preventable disease, this shouldn’t be happening. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and when treated before it progresses, it has an excellent prognosis for a cure. The incidence and likelihood of developing gum disease increase as you age, so if you’re in middle age or older, it’s particularly important to maintain excellent oral hygiene.
What Symptoms Most Commonly Indicate the Presence of Gingivitis?
There are several early warning signs that should be addressed promptly, so if you have any of the following, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- A change in the spaces between your teeth
- Bleeding when you’re brushing or flossing
- Changes in your gum color, such as red or purple gums
- Loosened teeth
- Painful, swollen or sensitive gums
- Pain or discomfort when you chew
- Perpetual halitosis or a bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums
Any of these or multiples of these can indicate the presence of gingival disease, so don’t delay in making an appointment with your dentist. Healthy gums should be light pink and firm, and they should hug your teeth. If they aren’t or don’t, then you might be developing gum disease.
Which Habits Most Commonly Cause Gingivitis?
Eating a poor diet that’s low in vitamin C and high in refined carbohydrates and sugars is very bad for your dental health and encourages the formation of gingival disease. Although there are sugars and carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables, they don’t adversely affect your oral health like highly processed carbohydrates and sugars do. Combined with less-than-ideal oral hygiene, the bacteria thrive on a carbohydrate-laden diet that’s rife with sugar and make you a prime candidate for gingivitis or chronic periodontitis.
What Are The Most Common Risk Factors For Gingivitis?
The most common risk factor for developing gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, but there other factors that can exacerbate the matter, such as:
- A family history of gum disease
- Dental appliances, bridges, and fillings that are defective or fit poorly
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Inadequate nutrition, especially a diet that lacks vitamin C
- Medications that cause dry mouth, whether they’re by prescription or over-the-counter
- Tobacco use, whether you smoke it or chew it
When you eat, especially foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, then the bacteria in your mouth start to interact with them and cause plaque. Since plaque forms continuously, it needs to be removed at least daily through brushing and flossing although drinking ample amounts of water daily can help remove some of the bacteria and keep both your mouth and your body healthier. Otherwise, plaque accumulates under the gumline and hardens into tartar, which forms a protective barrier over the plaque so that it can continue to accumulate. Over time, the tartar can precipitate decay and destroy the tissue and bone that holds your teeth in place, and you’ll lose your teeth as well as the structural integrity of your face. This is very serious and can be prevented by a program of good oral hygiene.
Does Periodontal Disease Cause Other Health Problems?
Periodontal disease can adversely affect all your major organs as well as every system in your body. It doesn’t stop at your oral health. It can also precipitate the development of deadly diseases, such as the following:
- Cardiac disease: A higher incidence of heart disease has been associated with gingival disease.
- Diabetes: Uncontrolled blood glucose levels in diabetics encourage the formation of gingivitis in addition to the typical neural damage, renal disease, and loss of vision that often occur as the result of diabetes.
- Pulmonary disease: The bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the lungs through the normal respiration process, and can cause lung diseases, according to the AAP.
- Stroke: The incidence of stroke due to arterial blockage to the brain was higher in those with gingival disease than it was in other types of stroke victims.
- Various types of cancer: The AAP reports that men who had periodontal disease were 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers, and 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer than those who had good oral health.
Can Gum Disease Be Prevented and How?
Gum disease is easily prevented through a regimen of good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. If you’re unsure of the best oral hygiene routine for your needs, then ask your dentist. Since gingivitis is often asymptomatic, you may have it and not realize it, so it’s important to include at least annual checkups in your oral hygiene routine. If you have risk factors such as deep pockets in your gums, dry mouth or you’re a smoker, then you’re at higher risk for developing gingival gum disease. When gum disease isn’t caught early, then you’ll need to have a deep cleaning that entails root planing and scaling, especially if you have chronic periodontitis.
If you need to schedule a dental cleaning, then call our office and we’ll help you. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online, but either way, contact us to schedule an appointment and let us help you maintain or regain your good dental health. We look forward to working with you.