Preventing gum disease in Jacksonville requires that you understand exactly how gum disease occurs, what you need to do to maintain and prevent it, and when you should visit a dentist. By and far, the most common type of gum disease is gingivitis. In order to understand how gingivitis is treated, you must first understand what it is and how it happens.
The Definition of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is actually a very common condition. It is a form of periodontal disease, which is the scientific word for gum disease. gingivitis is usually a very mild form of the condition, but that should not convince you to ignore the condition. It can escalate into something much more serious called periodontitis, and, eventually, you could lose teeth because of it. Normally, it will be very easy to tell if you have gingivitis during routine visits to your dentist. However, there are some common symptoms that you can look out for if you do not currently have a dentist who can alert you to gum disease in Jacksonville. If that is the case, then you should definitely see a dentist if you suspect that you have gingivitis.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is very easy to detect. Most of the time, your gums are not firm, pink and healthy. However, when you have gingivitis your gums become a darker color of red, may be puffy or swollen and might bleed when brushing or flossing. Normally, you will have very little to no pain with gingivitis but some of the other common symptoms might include:
- Receding gums (gums that are pulling back from teeth)
- Sensitive or bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing.
- Swollen gums, or a different color than normal, such as pink to red.
- Bad breath even after brushing or using breath mints.
Causes of Gingivitis
The main cause of gingivitis is simply poor dental hygiene. Not brushing your teeth will cause plaque to form on your teeth and must be removed daily. If you do not remove the plaque by brushing, then it will harden into a substance called tarter and that is even harder to get rid of. Additionally, flossing is important because food can be stuck between teeth and, cause bacteria to make the problem even worse. You should follow your dentist’s recommendations, and brush at least twice daily, as well as floss every day.
Obviously, you also need to find a dentist who will help you to treat and prevent gum disease in Jacksonville as well, because while brushing and flossing can go a very long way toward good oral hygiene, there is simply no replacement for dentistry, particularly if you have cavities that need filled, and for regular maintenance like teeth cleaning. There are also some risk factors that can make gingivitis much more likely. Abstaining from these behaviors will help quite a bit.
Here are some of the risk factors that you should be aware of for gingivitis:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Use of tobacco or drugs
- Some medications can be a risk factor for Gingivitis. Ask your dentist for details.
- As you get older, you become more at risk for gum disease.
- Some medical conditions like HIV, diabetes, and anything that compromises your immune system.
- Pregnancy or other factors that affect your hormones.
- Poor nutritional habits
Treatment of Gingivitis
The first thing that will happen when you find a dentist that will treat your gum disease in Jacksonville is the diagnosis. Your dentist will take a look at the symptoms and decide if you have gingivitis and how advanced the disease is, as well as check for plaque and tarter build up.
Next, your dentist will usually recommend a course of treatment. He or she might recommend changing or eliminating some of the risk factors for gingivitis, as well as perform dental procedures to help take care of the condition. This may include a teeth cleaning, filling cavities, or more advanced procedures, if necessary. Your dentist will also recommend things that will help with the treatment, such as brushing or flossing more.
Prompt treatment is important, and so you should find a dentist who can treat your gum disease in Jacksonville as quickly as possible. Here is the normal course of treatment for Gingivitis. This might vary based upon your dentist. However, it is very likely that your Gingivitis can be reversed after a period of time if you follow the treatment guidelines. The first phase of the treatment process starts at the dentist’s office, and then you will follow up with your own treatment at home.
Treatment of Gingivitis at the Dentist’s Office
Your dentist will do an evaluation to determine how much plaque and tarter has built up and will usually do a thorough dental cleaning. Part of the dental treatment will be instructions on how to floss and brush and how often to do these things. You may also have to return for other dental procedures, such as fillings or restorations, like crowns and bridges. If there are any dental issues that will prevent or hinder the treatment of gingivitis, your dentist may opt to fix them first.
Treatment of Gingivitis at Home
Visiting a dentist that will treat your gum disease in Jacksonville is only part of the treatment. It is vital that you follow your dentist’s recommendations and brush at least twice per day, and floss at least once per day. Your dentist may also recommend that you use an antiseptic mouth wash and you may have to return at some point for another professional cleaning. Your dentist might also recommend changing your diet, quitting smoking, or eliminating other risk factors.