What is Gingivitis? Ask a Dentist in Statesville NC

If you think you may have gingivitis, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that over 35.7 million Americans suffer from this painful condition affecting the teeth and gums. In today’s blog, our Statesville Dentist discusses gingivitis’ causes, treatment, and symptoms. If you need a dentist in Statesville NC, call our office today to schedule an appointment!

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is usually caused by bacterial infection of the gum area, resulting in inflamed, red, or painful gums. There are two types of gingivitis: plaque-induced, and non-plaque induced. Plaque-induced gingivitis occurs when plaque accumulates on the teeth and eventually mineralizes into tartar, a hard white substance that is difficult to remove without professional tooth cleaning. As the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, they begin to irritate, inflame, and infect the gums, causing an autoimmune response (i.e. swelling.)

Non-plaque induced gingivitis occurs when foreign objects irritate or injure the gums. Typically, vigorous brushing, aggressive flossing, and athletic injuries are the most common culprits. Pregnancy, diabetes, food allergies, and autoimmune diseases can also cause the gums to swell and/or bleed.

Gingivitis Symptoms

The main symptom of gingivitis is red, puffy gums which bleed when brushed. In severe cases, the gums may become a deep red or magenta color. Other symptoms include a receding gum line, halitosis (bad breath), and a shiny appearance of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and, eventually, tooth loss.  

Gingivitis Treatment

For plaque-induced gingivitis, the solution is usually as simple as scheduling a trip to your Statesville dentist office. Your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar in a process called “scaling”. After this initial procedure, it will be up to the patient to maintain increased or improved brushing and flossing. Your dentist may also recommend using:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush
  • An electric toothbush
  • Antiseptic mouthwash
  • Fluoride toothpaste

How Our Statesville Dentist Office Can Help

If you are experiencing the symptoms of gingivitis, it’s important to address it right away before the condition becomes more severe. Contact our Statesville dentist today for an appointment!