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What is Gingivitis and Why Should I Worry About It?

Proper oral hygiene is essential to preventing a variety of oral health issues. One common problem is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease that affects the gums around the base of your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis which affects the bone and can result inthe loss of teeth. By knowing what to look out for, as well as the steps you can take to avoid getting gingivitis, you can protect the health of your teeth and gums.

Gingivitis is most often caused by poor oral hygiene. Without proper care, plaque begins to form on your teeth and gumlines. Primarily made up of bacteria, it’s important to remove plaque every day. Without daily removal, plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar is detrimental to oral health because it encourages bacteria growth along the gum line, which can lead to irritation and pain. In addition, tartar makes it harder to remove plaque. If you suspect you have tartar on your teeth, it’s important to schedule a dental cleaning quickly to remove the build-up. If left to their own devices, tartar and plaque will continue to inflame the gums around the base of your teeth. This will eventually lead to bleeding and swollen gums. If left untreated, a person can expect their gingivitis to turn into periodontitis, which can cause tooth decay and tooth loss.

While the effects of gingivitis can be scary, there are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent and treat gum disease. First and foremost, practicing good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to avoid any gum and teeth issues. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, for a minimum of two minutes each time. Most people opt to brush their teeth in the morning when they wake up and again before going to bed. In addition to brushing, flossing once a day BEFORE you brush will help ensure that food particles and bacteria are removed from between your teeth. This lessens the likelihood of tartar buildup along the gum line.

In addition to good oral health practices at home, it’s also essential to visit your dentist on a regular basis in order to prevent a number of dental issues, including gingivitis. Dental cleanings are vital to keeping gingivitis at bay and are recommended every six to twelve months. If you have risk factors, like dry mouth or take certain medications, professional cleanings may be needed more often. Annual dental exams are also important to overall oral health since dentists can use X-rays to spot any potential problems before they’re visible. Regular visits allow your dentist to track your dental health and make note of any changes.

By practicing good health practices, like healthy eating, regular brushing and flossing, and visiting your dentist, you can lessen your risk of developing gingivitis. Can’t remember the last time you had your teeth cleaned or examined? Then call our Long Beach dental office and make an appointment with Dr. Stephen Coates today!

Call 562-434-6414 or request an appointment online here.

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