Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease that leads to inflammation of the gums, also known as gingival tissues. Gingivitis can be an indication that there is a problem with overall oral hygiene, and can lead to more serious gum disease, as well as eventual tooth loss. Our Yorkville dental experts can evaluate your gums to determine if you have gingivitis, but it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms on your own.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
In many cases, your dentist will be the first person to discover symptoms of gingivitis during a routine dental exam. During your usual exam, the dentist or the dental hygienist will use special tools to measure the areas between your teeth and your gums, where pockets are formed. If these pockets are more than one or two millimeters deep, the dentist will probably suggest that you take additional care to clean these areas so that the gums can heal.
Other symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Red gums, especially if they have a shiny look to them
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Sensitivity in the area where the teeth meet the gums
Any of these symptoms should be brought to your dentist’s attention.
Long-Term Effects of Gingivitis
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of gingivitis, and to care for your gums if gingivitis is diagnosed, because allowing this inflammation to continue can have long-term negative effects on the health of your mouth and teeth. Chronic infection in the gums can also lead to other problems such as an increased risk of heart disease due to the bacteria circulating from the mouth throughout the body.
Gingivitis is a relatively minor issue, but if left untreated it can quickly become a more serious form of periodontal disease. Serious infection of the gums can cause loose teeth or can even lead to loss of your teeth. If gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease, surgery might be required to correct the problem. It’s always best to discover and treat the problem early, so be sure to schedule regular dental exams and monitor your gums for any signs of possible gingivitis.