Reston Dental Center
Dentists & Periodontists located in Reston, VA
Gum disease is common, affecting about half of adults in the United States, and can lead to receding gums and tooth loss if left untreated. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is often reversible with the right treatment. The experienced dental team at Reston Dental Center offers quality gingivitis and gum disease care at their Reston and Vienna, Virginia, offices. Call Reston Dental Center for an appointment today or use the online booking tool.
Gingivitis Q & A
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, or periodontal disease. It’s a mild form of the disease that can irritate your gums, or the soft tissue surrounding your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more serious stages of gum disease.
Gingivitis often develops because of plaque, a sticky substance that forms on your teeth, and hard tartar. When tartar accumulates along the gumline, your gums can become inflamed and irritated.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
The following signs and symptoms may indicate you have gingivitis:
- Tender, irritated gums
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Dark red gums
- A receding gum line
In comparison, healthy gums are pale pink in color, firm, and fit tightly around your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more advanced stages of gum disease, a severely receding gum line, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
What are the risk factors for gingivitis?
The following factors can increase your risk of developing gingivitis:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Poor oral hygiene
- Skipping professional dental cleanings
- Older age
- Dry mouth
- Hormonal changes
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medical conditions or medications
Crooked teeth or improperly fitted dental restorations that make cleaning your teeth difficult also increase your risk of developing gingivitis.
How is gingivitis treated?
Your Reston Dental Center provider reviews your medical and dental history, asks you about symptoms, takes X-rays, and examines your mouth to determine if you have gingivitis. If you do, they may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Your dental professional completes thorough professional cleanings that often include root planing and scaling to get rid of hard-to-reach tarter, plaque, and bacterial buildup on your teeth and beneath the gums. They might use laser or ultrasonic devices. Your dentist might recommend dental cleanings more often than every six months, at least initially.
If poorly fitted bridges, crowns, or other dental restorations make proper oral hygiene difficult, your dentist can correct these problems to prevent future teeth and gum damage.
Things you can do at home to eliminate gingivitis and prevent it from returning include brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, choosing an electric toothbrush, using mouthwash, and not smoking or chewing tobacco.
Don’t let gingivitis progress to advanced stages of gum disease or tooth loss. Schedule a professional cleaning with Reston Dental Center over the phone or online today.
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