Your smile can convey a lot about you. A confident, healthy smile can radiate warmth and good feelings to those around you. However, while some people might think that white teeth equal a healthy mouth, good oral health goes beyond this. Pay regular visits to your dental office in Grand Rapids to make sure that you are in good oral health, and to spot any minor problems before they become major issues. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and is completely reversible when it is treated in time. Read on to learn more about gingivitis and what you can do to fight it.
Recognizing the Signs of Gingivitis
Have you noticed that your gums appear red, swollen, or tender? Do your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth? If so, these issues could be signs that you have gingivitis . Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue that can progress into more severe stages of gum disease if it is not treated. Gum disease can eventually cause tooth loss and also affect more than just your mouth—researchers have found that there are links between it and other systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. If you notice that you are exhibiting symptoms of gingivitis, make an appointment with your dentist to find out what you can do to reverse it.
Fighting Back Against Gingivitis
When gingivitis is left unchecked, it can progress and lead to a variety of problems such as receding gums, shifting or loose teeth, bone loss, and tooth loss—these issues may ultimately result in the need for dental implants or other restorative treatments. While there are certain risk factors for gingivitis that cannot be controlled, such as family history, there are a number of things you can do to combat gingivitis. Tobacco use is a major risk factor for gum disease, whether it is smoked or chewed. A poor diet can also contribute to gingivitis, so talk to your dentist to find out what you should be eating for better oral health. Make sure you have a good at-home oral hygiene routine in which you brush twice per day and floss every day to help keep gingivitis at bay, and be sure to visit a family dentistry office at least twice each year for routine cleanings.