The most common symptom associated with the onset of gingivitis is bleeding gums – especially during brushing and flossing. Gums bleed because they are inflamed and irritated. If bleeding is commonplace, it is a good indicator that a person may have gum disease. While bleeding gums is commonly associated with gingivitis and more advanced forms of gum (periodontal) disease, it is important to note that gingivitis can develop without noticeable symptoms. This is why routine checkups with our dentist are so important. During checkups and cleanings, our team will closely evaluate gum health to look for signs of periodontal disease. With early diagnosis and intervention, gingivitis is curable.
Causes of Gum Disease
A primary contributor to the development of gum disease is neglecting one’s oral health by not practicing proper oral hygiene, including daily flossing. When we skip brushing and flossing or perform these tasks improperly, plaque will build up. A sticky substance full of bacteria, plaque will harden into tartar within a few days. Tartar, unlike plaque, cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. It must be scraped away with dental instruments used during a professional cleaning.
Beyond inadequate oral hygiene, gums can become inflamed for other reasons. Certain medications and some medical conditions can lead to gum inflammation, which can contribute to gingivitis. For example, hormonal fluctuations and diabetes cause inflammation of the gingiva, which increases the risk for infection. Some research has shown that gum disease may be genetic as well.
When it comes to preventing gum disease, patients should take a very vigilant approach to their oral health. Not only is thorough brushing and flossing vital to keeping gums healthy and harmful substances in check, scheduling routine checkups and cleanings with our dentist is necessary for early detection. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into a very aggressive oral health condition called periodontitis. Advanced gum disease is destructive and difficult to manage so early detection is important for securing conservative and effective treatment.
Call Fresh Leaf Dental at 714-838-8050 today to reserve an appointment for a checkup or cleaning.