If you experience bleeding when you brush or floss, you may have gingivitis -- the first stage of gum disease. While gingivitis is irreversible, if it progresses, it can lead to tooth decay and possible loss of affected teeth. At C & R Dental Care, the team of experts can help diagnose and treat gingivitis before it progresses. If you live in Centreville, Virginia, or Columbia, Maryland, call the office or make an appointment using the online booking agent to preserve your oral health.
Gum disease originates in the gums, where infections form due to harmful bacteria and bits of food. Plaque, the sticky, soft film of bacteria that forms on your teeth is the immediate culprit.
Early warning signs include:
It’s easy for you to ignore gingivitis, but over time the infection can cause the gums to separate from the teeth, creating even greater opportunities for infection and decay.
Anyone can develop gingivitis, but you’re at particular risk if you have any of the following factors:
Certain conditions, including hormonal changes that occur with your menstrual cycle or pregnancy, and immunosuppressive illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer also put you at greater risk. People with dental restorations that don’t fit well or teeth that are difficult to clean may also develop gingivitis more easily.
Gingivitis is preventable with good oral cleaning habits. Brushing after most meals and flossing daily are important steps. A mouth rinse can also help dissolve plaque in hard-to-reach areas. Visit C & R Dental Care for regular cleanings twice per year to get areas that are hard to reach yourself and to address plaque that’s hardened and become tartar. If you smoke or chew tobacco, kicking the habit also helps heal gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be reversed by adopting good oral hygiene habits. When it becomes a more serious form of gum disease, the dental team at C & R Dental Care may recommend root planing, which involves cleaning and scraping below the gum line to smooth the roots. If your mouth responds well, the gums reattach to the teeth.
If planing and scaling don't work, you may need additional treatments, including surgery to save your teeth. When misaligned teeth or poorly fitting crowns or bridges are to blame, the team may suggest dental work, so you have an easier time keeping your teeth clear of plaque.
If you suffer from bleeding, puffy gums, visit C & R Dental Care to prevent serious side effects today.