Have you ever wondered why your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Or why they periodically swell up or become extra sensitive?
If you’ve experienced any of these signs, you may have gingivitis. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to the Canadian Dental Hygienist Association, as many as 50% of Canadians have gingivitis and most of them don’t even know it.
So what exactly is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that is most commonly caused by plaque buildup on your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque can invade your gums, and if it isn’t treated, can cause permanent damage to the root of your teeth.
What are some other causes of gingivitis?
You may be asking: doesn’t everyone have plaque and bacteria in their mouths? And you’re right. While you – and everyone else – have a certain level of plaque buildup, underlying health problem or improper oral health care can turn plaque into gingivitis.
Some of these preexisting health problems include: diabetes, leukemia, a poor immune system, a change in hormone levels (caused by pregnancy or puberty), HIV, high blood pressure, or seizures.
How can I tell if I have gingivitis?
You might experience the following symptoms:
– Bleeding of the gums when flossing or brushing your teeth
– Bad breath
– Gums may be red instead of a healthy pink
– Gums may swell up or become extra sensitive
How can I prevent gingivitis?
1. Brush and floss regularly—don’t worry if your gums bleed the first few times and make sure you’re using proper brushing and flossing techniques.
2. See your hygienist for regular cleanings — hygienist can remove the plaque that regular brushing can’t. If you have gingivitis, your hygienist may suggest coming in more often to reduce plaque buildup.
To know for sure if you have gingivitis, see a 123Dentist.com dental health professional today. Don’t ignore the symptoms or it could cause permanent damage to your beautiful smile!