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Gingivitis: Symptoms and Causes in Baltimore

What Causes Gingival Gum Disease and What Symptoms Will Appear?

Two of the early signs of gingival gum disease are minor bleeding when you brush or floss, and bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. If you notice either or both of these, then you might have gingivitis. This disease can present asymptomatically, so you may be unaware of it until you’ve had it for a while. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, the treatment, and the methods for avoiding this disease.

Can Gingival Gum Disease Be Prevented?

Gingivitis is a serious disease that’s also very common and very preventable. Without treatment, it can elevate into chronic periodontitis, which is the most advanced stage of gum disease and a very serious disease. The consequences of chronic periodontitis can include loss of your teeth as well as loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth. It can also result in facial distortion. According to the CDC, your risk of developing gum disease increases as you age. About half of those who are at least 30 years old have some stage of gum disease while more than 70 percent of those who are 65 or older have gum disease. Since there aren’t necessarily signs of gingival disease, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and pay attention to any indicators that the disease might be present.

What Are Common Symptoms of Gingival Gum Disease?

You may have gingivitis for some time but be completely unaware of it. It’s often painless and has few symptoms, but if you notice any of the following, then see your dentist without delay:

  • A bad taste in your mouth or consistent bad breath
  • Bleeding during flossing or brushing
  • Changes in the color of your gums, such as from pink to red or purple
  • Changes in the spacing between your teeth
  • Discomfort or pain when you chew
  • Loosened teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive, swollen or painful gums

Your gums should be pink and firm and they should be snug against your teeth. If they aren’t then make an appointment with your dentist.

What Causes Gingival Gum Disease?

The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Even if you think your dental hygiene is adequate, if you have gum disease then you need to do more. Deep cleaning is used for those with chronic periodontitis, and it involves scaling and root planing below the gumline. When tartar and plaque remain on your teeth for an extended time, your gums become inflamed, they can begin to bleed and swell and decay can form. Left untreated, your teeth can loosen and fall out, and you can permanently damage your gums and bone. Your facial structure can also become deformed.

Are There Common Risk Factors For Gingival Gum Disease?

In addition to poor oral hygiene practices, there are factors that can hasten the onset of gingival disease more quickly for some than for others, such as:

  • Bridges, fillings or dental appliances that fit poorly or are defective
  • Diabetes and other health conditions that lower your immunity
  • Fluctuations in your hormone levels
  • Lack of good nutrition, especially if your diet is low in vitamin C
  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications that have dry mouth as a side effect
  • Tobacco use, whether you smoke it or chew it

Maintaining a regimen of good oral hygiene is the best defense against these factors.

Can Gingival Gum Disease Negatively Affect Your Physical Health?

Research has shown a correlation between gingival disease and several other serious health conditions. Researchers believe that this is due to the elevated levels of inflammation that gingivitis causes. Those health conditions include:

  • Heart disease: Gingival disease has been associated with a higher incidence of cardiac disease.
  • Diabetes: Blood glucose levels that are poorly controlled in diabetics encourage the onset of gingivitis in addition to the typical kidney disease, neural damage, and loss of vision that often occur as the result of diabetes.
  • Pulmonary disease: The bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the lungs through the normal respiration process and can cause lung diseases, according to the AAP.
  • Stroke: Those with gingival disease were found to have a higher incidence of stroke due to arterial blockage to the brain than those who had other types of strokes.
  • Various types of cancer: The AAP reports that men who had periodontal disease were 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer than those who had good oral health.

If you’re in a high-risk group, it’s particularly important that you maintain good oral health, so make an appointment with your dentist today.

What Methods Will Prevent Gingival Gum Disease?

The best method for preventing gingivitis is to maintain a regimen of good oral hygiene that includes regular flossing and brushing as well as regular dental checkups. Use a high-quality toothbrush and toothpaste and don’t procrastinate just because you’re tired or have to get up early. Since gingival disease often presents asymptomatically, it’s essential to schedule regular dental visits, particularly if you’re in a high-risk group, and it’s essential to not skip brushing or flossing.

Maintaining a healthy diet that’s free of refined carbohydrates and sugars will help to maintain your oral health, as will remaining hydrated. A dry mouth encourages the formation of bacteria, so be sure to drink plenty of water.

If it’s been a while since your last dental appointment, then call our office to schedule one. You can also schedule online at your convenience. Let’s get started on restoring your good dental health. We look forward to working with you.

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