Good oral hygiene is an important part of people’s day-to-day life everywhere, and Austin is no exception. Unfortunately, oral health is all too often taken for granted, and teeth and gums can suffer as a result.
Dental ailments that might at first appear mild can easily become exacerbated under the right circumstances. A good example of an issue that could progress into something more alarming is gingivitis.
What Is It? What Causes It?
Gingivitis is a very common gum disease that often goes unnoticed early on, especially when it’s accompanied by little or no pain. Its prevalence is most unfortunate when you consider that it can be avoided simply by practicing good oral hygiene and making routine trips to the dentist.
Gingivitis can be evidenced by many symptoms. One indicator is a redness or swelling of the gums. Additionally, gums can recede and cause tooth sensitivity. Receding gums also can cause the development of pockets in which food particles and plaque can accumulate, worsening the problem.
Gingivitis can also be marked by gums that are painful. They may also bleed more easily than they should, such as after brushing or flossing. Chronic bad breath also could result from gingivitis due to bacteria buildup.
It all begins when a sticky substance called plaque builds up around the gumline when people fail to brush and floss properly. This plaque then turns into a hard substance called tartar. Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that irritates your gums and causes them to become swollen and red. Tartar is stubborn, and you won’t be able to remove it by brushing. You’ll need your Austin dentist to do that for you.
Are Some People More Prone to Gingivitis?
There are many factors that can increase the risk of gingivitis. Among them are tobacco use, certain medications, and hormonal changes that accompany the life shifts of puberty and menopause. Risk also increases with advancing age and, of course, improper oral hygiene. The presence of diseases such as cancer and diabetes can also play a role. Some of us have a greater risk simply due to hereditary factors.
Things Could Get Much Worse
If symptoms are ignored, gingivitis can lead to a more serious gum disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis can then bring about tissue and bone damage in your mouth. Over time, your gums can begin to peel away from your teeth. Because of these receding gums, teeth can begin to shift or loosen in your mouth. Eventually, sufferers of periodontitis can experience tooth loss.
It’s imperative that we practice good oral hygiene in order to lessen our risk of periodontitis. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and floss daily. In addition, see your Austin dentist on a regular basis for routine maintenance and preventative services. Your teeth are too valuable to go uncared for.
Have Questions About Gingivitis?
If you’re interested in learning more about how to avoid or recognize gingivitis or if you have other dental questions, please contact the professionals at Access Dental at (512) 399-5099.