Pasadena, Texas Teeth Cleanings
Gingivitis is a chronic inflammation of the gum tissue. Typically associated with poor oral hygiene, gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease (periodontal disease). Our Pasadena, Texas Dental office is committed to ensuring your proper dental health. This includes not only the teeth, but the gum tissue too.
If gingivitis is diagnosed early by our Dental Team, it can be treated and possibly even reversed. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to gum disease, a more serious oral health issue that is not easily reversible. Gum disease destroys bone and gum tissue. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. In recent studies it has also been linked to heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Many people are not even aware that they have gingivitis, because it is usually not painful. The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen and puffy gums that bleed easily. At your dental visit with us, we will evaluate the condition of your gums at your routine checkups.
Additional gingivitis symptoms include:
- Mouth sores
- Itchy gums
- Bad breath
- Bad taste
- Gum recession (this occurs when the gums pull away (recede) from the tooth)
If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, it can usually be treated easily with a thorough in-office dental cleaning and followed up with proper oral care at home.
Causes of Gingivitis
While poor oral hygiene is usually the cause of gingivitis, there are a number of other factors that can contribute as well:
- Certain medications
- Substance abuse
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal fluctuations
Untreated gingivitis usually progresses into the more serious stages of gum disease, which causes irreversible bone loss and potential tooth loss. Prevention is therefore essential.
The best way to prevent gingivitis is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, using an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Dr. Nugent recommends brushing three times a day. Furthermore, sometimes patients must come in more regularly than every six months to keep gum disease at bay.
If gingivitis is caught in its earliest stages, it is extremely manageable. Your dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth in a process called scaling, during which all hardened tartar and plaque are removed from your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Tooth scaling can be uncomfortable, depending on the amount of tartar and plaque buildup and your level of tooth sensitivity, so a numbing gel or anesthetic injection may be administered to the area.