The structures supporting teeth need proper care, or they will become infected and damage the teeth.With such a focus on cleaning the visible surface of the teeth, it can be easy for people to forget about the structure of their teeth. You may not even realize that the structure of the teeth is just as…
How Periodontics Can Treat Gingivitis
Dentists use periodontics on a regular basis to help patients maintain gum health. This area of dental treatment is an essential part of oral hygiene and helps keep teeth strong and healthy as well. General dentists play an important role in helping prevent and treat a variety of periodontal issues, including gingivitis.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a mild to moderate case of inflammation of the gums. Also referred to as gum disease, the symptoms of this problem include:
- Puffy, swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Gum recession
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Gums that are a darker or red color
- Tender or sensitive gums
Gingivitis should be addressed promptly. Otherwise, the condition can worsen and may progress into periodontitis. When this happens, the inflammation spreads to the soft tissues below the surface and even to the bone. This can lead to serious infections and even tooth loss.
Gingivitis, like most other issues in the realm of periodontics, is caused by poor dental hygiene. Without adequate brushing and flossing, patients are unable to remove plaque that collects close to the gumline. Over time, the plaque can form a coating known as tartar buildup. This coating traps bacteria close to the gums and leads to inflammation, bleeding, and discomfort. It can also cause tooth decay.
Tartar cannot be removed with a toothbrush alone and requires professional dental cleaning. Therefore, people who skip dental checkups and do not practice good home care are more likely develop gingivitis at some point in time.
While a lack of routine care is the leading cause of gum disease, some other factors may increase a person's chance of dealing with periodontal issues. Smoking, using tobacco, and malnutrition can all cause serious dental issues, including gum disease. Certain genetic conditions and hormonal changes can also put someone more at risk for developing gingivitis. People are more likely to face gum problems as they age or if they develop dry mouth. Research has shown that people with gum disease are also more likely to develop other serious health conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
How is gingivitis treated?
Dentists can use a variety of techniques in periodontics to combat gum disease. Using scaling tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup, along with a thorough professional cleaning, can help reduce the symptoms of gingivitis. A dentist may prescribe a mouth rinse to help control bacteria or improve dry mouth. If the inflammation has led to an infection, antibiotics may be needed. Some dentists may also use laser treatments to kill bacteria around the soft tissues of the mouth. In extreme situations where the gum recession or damage is severe, surgery may be necessary.
Gingivitis is common but it still requires professional treatment and excellent home care; otherwise, it could progress into a serious problem that causes infection and tooth loss. Dentists can use periodontics to help reduce the bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease for a healthier mouth.
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