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What is gum disease?

Category: Hygiene

Gingivitis and gum disease

Gingivitis is a common form of early stage gum disease.

It is inflammation of the gum that causes redness, swelling, bleeding, irritation and bad breath. Gingivitis can be mild and you might not even be aware that you have the problem. If gingivitis is not treated it can progress to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis affects the gums and the underlying bone and you can end up with bone loss, receding gums and eventually tooth loss. At JVR Dental in Walnut Grove, we understand how important your oral health care is. That is why we have put together this simple guide on gum disease, gingivitis, plaque and tartar.

Main cause of gingivitis

The main cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene which causes plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth when starches and sugar interact with the normal bacteria found in your mouth. This is a fast process and plaque can form within 24 hours if it is not removed by brushing your teeth.

Plaque and tartar

When plaque stays on your teeth for 2-3 days, it hardens to form calculus (tartar) on your teeth. A high mineral content of your saliva will also contribute to calculus formation. This hard layer will create a protective shield for bacteria on the teeth and make it more difficult to remove than plaque that forms on it. Because it is hard, you will not be able to brush it off and needs a profession cleaning at your dental office.

Steps to help prevent gingivitis:

  1. Brush twice a day with an electrical toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Floss daily.
  3. Use a mouth rinse.
  4. Remember to see your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and exam. Your dentist may suggest more cleanings if necessary.

If you would like to learn more about gum disease prevention, gingivitis and plaque, please book an appointment today with your Walnut Grove dentist.

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