How Harmful Is Gingivitis?
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis commonly occurs as a result of neglecting to remove all the plaque and debris on your teeth. Plaque is a colorless, soft, sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth while consuming food or drinks, and can be easy to miss if you are not thorough in brushing and flossing. If you do not remove plaque daily, it will produce toxins that directly cause gingivitis through gum irritation. You should always follow a consistent dental health routine and look out for the signs and symptoms of gingivitis because it can be much more harmful than it seems.
Signs and symptoms may not include any pain, so it is best to check your teeth and gums visually during your daily dental health routine. You should also schedule regular dental checkups. Bleeding gums are one sign to really keep watch for. Healthy gums do not bleed, even if they experience irritation while being brushed. Bleeding gums are not a disease in themselves, but are a common symptom of acute or chronic inflammation related to gingivitis. Also keep a lookout for bad breath, gums that are tender, red, and/or swollen.
How harmful is gingivitis?
Gingivitis might seem like a minor annoyance, but it is much worse than that. Gingivitis in and of itself is harmful to your teeth and gums, but the greatest danger from gingivitis is that it is a threat and risk that leads to the development of more harm and larger issues. You definitely want to address it in a timely manner.
Untreated gingivitis is a sure sign of much worse to come. Gingivitis is considered the mildest form of gum disease, and gum disease can wreak havoc on your whole body. From hurting your immune system to losing teeth, and being more prone to additional problems. Over time, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth allowing more and more bacteria to invade the crevices of your mouth, worsening the situation.
The greatest dangers and harm when it comes to gingivitis are risks for developing more serious gum disease, like “periodontitis,” or even worse “acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.” All gum disease can lead to receding gums, and tooth decay, deterioration and loss. Also, these will not just result in dental health problems but can and will lead to physical health problems. You are definitely at an increased risk for heart attack, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and much more.
How can I prevent or treat gingivitis?
Gingivitis is very treatable, reversible and even curable. All you need to do is understand how to create the proper environment that supports sustainable and long-term dental health.
You can take additional steps to prevent gingivitis by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day, gently, for two minutes each time.
- Flossing daily to remove plaque where your toothbrush cannot reach.
- Avoiding cigarettes.
- Limiting alcohol.
- Doing self-checks at home and seeing your dentist regularly.
With proper knowledge, understanding, mindfulness, and commitment to your dental health, you can rest assured that you are doing all you can to support the best dental health possible.
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