Monday, 13 April 2015
Do You Have Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of gum disease, which affects millions of people around the world each year. This form of gum disease is not as severe as periodontitis, but if left untreated it can cause serious oral and healthy problems moving forward.
Anyone with gingivitis will experience inflamed and red gums; they will probably bleed when you brush your teeth. Ignoring the signs of this gum disease and not seeking dental help can result in it progressing. Untreated gum disease can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon in the United Kingdom, advised that many people don’t realise the link between gum disease and their overall health. When gingivitis is ignored and becomes periodontal disease, the bacterial infection can get into the blood stream, which can have a seriously negative effect on overall health.
There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing gingivitis. Most people believe the cause is due to poor oral health and while this may be one of the leading causes, it is not the only reason you may be experiencing discomfort, inflammation and bleeding.
Gingivitis is normally caused by plaque build-up. When plaque isn’t removed effectively through brushing and flossing it becomes tartar, which sticks to the teeth, welcoming harmful bacteria to stick to it. Other causes include an injury to the gums, which could be caused by aggressive brushing and flossing, tobacco use and pregnancy
Those with uncontrolled diabetes are also in a higher risk bracket when it comes to gingivitis, along with those with problematic teeth alignment, changes to braces fitment and those with cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Gingivitis can be exceptionally uncomfortable and frustrating, according to Dr Tariq Drabu. This form of gum disease causes bleeding, mouth sores, tenderness, swelling, shiny and irritated gums, bad breath and pain when chewing. One of the first signs of gingivitis is bad breath. Patients that experience one or more of these symptoms should make an urgent appointment with their dentist to have it checked and identify a treatment plan moving forward.
Dr Tariq Drabu did mention that treatment for gingivitis isn’t as aggressive as treatment for periodontitis. With gingivitis the dentist will diagnose by thoroughly checking the mouth, teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken to identify if any bone tissue has been affected.
From here patients usually undergo a professional dental clean with the hygienist. These cleans remove all plaque and tartar, teeth may be slightly sensitive after the clean. It is also common for the teeth to fell rough where any tartar was removed.
From here some dentists may prescribe medication to fight infection or reduce swelling, this will be determined on the severity of the gum disease.
Dr Tariq Drabu also mentioned that a good oral health routine at home is imperative to fighting and preventing gum disease. Everyone should be brushing their teeth twice a day with good quality fluoride toothpaste. Brushing should be for a minimum of two minutes and you need to concentrate on the front and back of each individual tooth to ensure you remove all plaque and bacteria.
In addition to this, when brushing close to the gums, turn your brush slightly to ensure the tip brushes the top of the gums. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which is a home to bacteria in the mouth.
Flossing is also important and helps reach between the teeth, covering areas the toothbrush misses. Flossing once a day is valuable in preventing gum disease. If you have already been told you have gingivitis, then floss twice a day as part of your oral health routine.