Gingivitis is the initial, early stages of gum disease and describes the irritation, redness and inflammation (swelling) of your gingiva, which is the part of the gum around the base of your teeth.
A condition that needs to be taken seriously, if allowed to progress it can turn into the more serious periodontal disease, which has been known to cause tooth loss and reduction of bone in the jaw.
If you suspect that you have gingivitis or gum disease, we recommend coming into our office to undergo an assessment with one of our periodontists to distinguish which stage of gum disease you might be experiencing. Getting gingivitis treated now can save so many headaches and problems in the future.
Our patients often ask:
Here are fast answers from the dentist regarding the patient’s biggest concerns around gingivitis…
How do you fix gingivitis? Gingivitis can be easily reversed with rigorous oral hygiene and cleaning.
How long does it take to get rid of gingivitis? Those with gingivitis because of poor oral hygiene can expect to reverse the effects in around 10-14 days.
How do you know if you have gingivitis? Your gums will appear red, swollen and will bleed when you brush, eat or floss. Bad breath and tenderness is also a sign.
What are the early stages of gingivitis? Bleeding is one of the earliest and most common warning signs of gingivitis.
How do you know if you have gingivitis?
- Bleeding on probing, brushing, flossing, eating etc
- Tender, sore or swollen gums that do not go away
- Bad breath that does not go away
- Bad/metallic taste in the mouth
- Receding or painful gums
- Loose teeth/changes in the way your teeth bite down
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
Gingivitis commonly occurs due to a sticky film of bacteria, or plaque accumulates and builds upon the teeth. When permitted to harden, the plaque turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.
What causes gingivitis?
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Not cleaning away plaque correctly
- Stress and hormonal changes
- Poor nutrition
Gingivitis vs Periodontitis
These are two words you really do not want to hear from your dentist. But what’s the difference between these two very serious diseases?
Gingivitis is a gum inflammation which more often than not, proceeds into periodontitis (the leading cause of tooth loss in adults).
The main difference between the two of them is that gingivitis is reversible, periodontitis is not. Patients should be concerned about displaying gingivitis symptoms because it’s these warning signs that point to bigger problems like periodontal disease.
Once you have progressed to periodontitis, then it poses risks for further dental procedures like implants (for tooth loss), for example, which require a healthy mouth and sufficient bone. Both of which gum disease destroys.
Gingivitis treatment – is it curable?
Not all gingivitis cases progress to periodontitis.
Gingivitis can often be taken care of at home, however, due to the seriousness surrounding the progression of the infection, it is always best to consult with a dentist to make sure you are doing everything you can to reverse the effects.
The best thing we can do to treat gingivitis during this early gum disease stage is effective cleaning, where you will have to maintain a good oral standard at home.
How to cure gingivitis in a week
- Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste
- Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- Brush your teeth and gums for at 2 minutes twice daily
- Floss at least once a day
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
- Check your gums in the mirror often to notice changes in colour or texture
- Cut back in foods that are high in sugar
By continuing to do this routine after getting rid of gingivitis, it will act as a good preventative measure to keep it from ever returning.
As dentists, we would also recommend that you visit a hygienist every six months for a deep clean to ensure your gums are in good condition.
Scared about the progression of your gingivitis?
The only true way to see the state of your oral health is by booking an appointment with the dentist, who can assess your condition.
For any of our patients considering dental implants, gingivitis will need to be looked at and treated before we can safely and securely position an implant as this can cause implant failure.
Call 020 8224 7562 to review your options now.
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