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How Do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Proper oral health is every bit as important as healthy diet and exercise, but far too many people take their gums for granted. Here are some sobering statistics concerning our focus on oral care:

  • Only 1 in 10 Americans brush their teeth correctly
  • 1/3 of Americans haven’t seen their dentist in over a year
  • Nearly 65 million adults in the U.S. already have some form of gingivitis

While it may seem OK to skip out on brushing and seeing the dentist now and then, it's these habits that can quickly turn into gingivitis or a more severe form of periodontal disease.

At Specialized Dentistry of New Jersey (SDNJ), we're experts in treating gingivitis and related conditions. Whether you believe you may already have gingivitis or would like to learn more about how to prevent it, contact us to make an appointment.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis, while being a mild type of gum disease, can easily turn into periodontitis if left untreated. This can lead to serious oral health issues including tooth, bone and tissue loss, so it’s extremely important that you recognize the signs and symptoms of gingivitis and take steps to eliminate it early on.

What Does Gingivitis Look Like?

As you monitor your health for signs of gingivitis, here are a few things you need to keep an eye out for:

  • Bad Breath: When bacteria build up in the mouth, plaque isn’t your only concern. This bacteria can lead to chronic bad breath, as well as a consistently unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Swollen Gums: Are your gums swelling up? Have they become darker red over time? This inflammation is a common sign of gingivitis, warning you bacteria are getting free reign to trigger infections in your mouth. Swollen gums are also more sensitive to the touch, so you’ll definitely be reminded of them each time you brush. They may also become softer or feel spongy over time.
  • Bleeding Gums: If your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, gingivitis has weakened them. When healthy, this tissue should be firm and able to withstand the typical pressure from regular tooth care.
  • Receding Gums: While you may not notice your gums gradually receding, you can definitely tell when it appears your teeth are growing longer. You’ll be able to see further down toward the root, especially as the disease progresses. This is a sign the disease is gradually getting closer to threatening the stability of your teeth anchored into your jaw.
  • Pus Between the Tooth and Gum: When you have gingivitis, pus can develop in pockets that form between your teeth and gum. As the pus forms, it can create painful pressure in this area, leading to gradually worsening localized pain.

Those who suffer from gingivitis may develop one or more of these symptoms — they could eventually have to contend with all of them if left untreated. If it progresses into periodontitis, it could lead to a range of issues that affect your lungs and heart and complicate other diseases.

Contact SDNJ to Learn More About Gingivitis Prevention and Treatment

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to schedule an appointment with an experienced periodontist. At SDNJ, we can provide an expert evaluation of how serious your gingivitis is, and what can be done to treat it. Often times, committing yourself to a serious oral health regimen consisting of mouthwash, flossing and brushing for two to three minutes at least twice a day can be enough to reverse some of the effects.

If you're in the Manalapan area and have concerns about how to prevent or reverse the symptoms of gingivitis, we're always here to help. Message us or give us a call, and we'll get you back on track to building a healthy smile that'll last.

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