Gingivitis affects 47% of American adults aged 30 years or older. It occurs when bacterial plaque builds up underneath the gums. Fortunately, your dentist can diagnose and treat this common condition. Treatment works best when the disease is caught early, so understanding gingivitis can be pivotal to your oral health.
What to Know About Treating Gingivitis
How It’s Diagnosed
The first sign is often discomfort. Gums will swell up and darken to a red rather than a healthy pink. They’ll bleed easily and become very tender, especially when you brush or floss.
During your diagnosis, the dentist will perform an examination. They’ll check the shape and color of the gums on either side of the tooth. Any pockets of the groove between the gums and teeth should be between 1 and 3 millimeters. When deeper than 4 mm, it may indicate gum disease. They’ll also look for gums peeling away from the tooth, loose teeth, or plaque buildup along the gumline. They may take X-rays to look for bone loss.
How It’s Treated
Treatment begins with a professional cleaning. They’ll use a process called scaling to remove plaque and tartar buildup, which houses the bacteria causing the disease. In more severe cases, they may recommend surgery. Flap surgery, for example, pulls the gums back to remove plaque from underneath, before placing them back.
Dentists will also work with you to prevent gingivitis from returning. They’ll teach you to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day with the right technique. They’ll recommend a schedule to make sure that you receive regular professional cleanings.
If you suspect you may have gingivitis, see your family dentist as soon as possible. Richmond Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has been treating families throughout Southeastern Georgia for more than 30 years. They’ll conduct an examination and cleaning to ensure your mouth is as healthy as possible. Learn more on their website or call (912) 756-3880 to schedule an appointment.