Plaque buildup does more than trigger tooth decay. When that film of bacteria gathers on your teeth, your gums are affected in similarly harmful ways. The acids produced by the plaque irritate your gum line, causing inflammation and redness. If the plaque stays in place, things will get worse – you may have full-blown gum disease on your hands. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and may also be connected to systemic diseases that have a significant impact on your life and longevity.
Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and let gum disease happen. If you catch gingivitis before it progresses, it’s fairly simple to reverse the damage. The key is being aware of gingivitis symptoms so that you can take action quickly. Keep reading to learn more about what to watch out for, and get in touch if you ever suspect that something’s changing in your mouth. Remember, scheduling twice-annual Staten Island dental exams gives you the best chances at total disease prevention.
Symptoms of Gingivitis – When Your Gums are Ailing
- Dark red or purple gums
- Swollen, inflamed gum line
- Plaque buildup, with teeth looking yellow and feeling fuzzy
- Tooth sensitivity
- Persistent bad breath
How to Stop Gingivitis, at Home and In the Office
- Floss! – Flossing is the best way to fight gingivitis because it addresses the area where teeth and gums meet. It removes plaque from hidden spots between the teeth, and helps strengthen the gums overall. If you haven’t been flossing because it caused sensitivity or bleeding, keep at it – this will fade shortly as your gums get accustomed to the practice.
- Kick up your overall oral hygiene – Brushing is just as important; you need to have a comprehensive, concerted effort to remove plaque and return your mouth to health.
- Quit smoking – Tobacco use irritates the gums and slows the healing process in the mouth. If you’ve been trying to quit, now is the time to increase your efforts.
- Deep cleaning – A regular cleaning removes plaque from the external tooth surfaces. A deep cleaning reaches into pockets between the teeth and gums to scrape plaque from tooth roots and help prevent it from clinging there in the future. This will be done in-office and we’ll check in with you afterwards to be sure your gums are looking and feeling healthier.