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The Reg Flags of Red Gums: Warning Signs of Gingivitis

July 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — crovatto @ 7:10 pm
Woman with oral pain.

Gingivitis is an insidious condition. While it can seem like a mild, even negligible irritation of the gums, if left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, where the disease in the gums spreads to underlying tissue and bone. This can even result in total tooth loss. Learning the signs and causes of gingivitis can prevent the disease and save you much money and suffering.

What Are the Early Signs of Gingivitis?

Whereas healthy gums are pink, gums afflicted with gingivitis can appear a dusky or dark red. They may bleed easily during routine brushing or flossing. Accumulating bacteria can also give the patient bad breath. While the gums will be swollen and irritated, the teeth will stay firmly rooted in place for the time being. Gingivitis is typically caused by poor oral hygiene, but other risk factors include poor nutrition, hormonal changes, old age, smoking, genetics, medications, and other medical conditions can all be contributing factors to gingivitis.

How Does Gingivitis Progress?

Gingivitis begins with plaque. Plaque rapidly and constantly forms on your teeth, especially when you consume the starches and sugars found in many foods. Plaque is invisible to the naked eye and accumulates quickly if not removed daily.

Over time, plaque hardens into tartar beneath the gumline. Tartar creates a protective shelter for bacteria and makes plaque more difficult to remove. Removing tartar requires professional dental intervention.

Eventually, the accumulating plaque and tartar begin to irritate the gingiva, the gum tissue surrounding the base of your teeth. The gums begin to swell and bleed. After some time, the teeth might start to decay. Left untreated, this can lead to periodontitis and lost teeth.

As the situation decays further, bacteria begin to erode small pockets between the teeth and the gums. These pockets in turn catch more food debris, providing breeding ground for more bacteria. The problem will progress further and further into the tissue as time goes on.

Because gingivitis seems so mild at first, it can sneak up on patients before wreaking serious havoc on their oral health. Treating gum disease is expensive and invasive, but preventing it is easy. The best way to prevent gingivitis is through good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Routine cleanings and exams will usually be able to diagnose the problem before it becomes a major issue.

About the Practice

Crovatto & Edwards Family Dentistry serves the community of Orange Park, FL. Led by Drs. Steven Crovatto and Megan Edwards, the team is dedicated to providing high-quality treatment in preventative dentistry. For more information on oral health, contact the practice online or at (904) 272-0800.

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