Gingivitis. It’s a term that we have all heard so much that we may be tempted to think we know all about it. Certainly, we would know if this condition developed in our mouth; and the chance that it will is very slim. Gum disease happens to “someone else,” never to us. That is until it does.
The nerves can go into a tailspin when you are told that your gums are inflamed. How could you not have noticed? How could this have happened when you brush twice a day every day? The truth is, gingivitis is sneaky, and it can happen without you knowing – and despite your best efforts. Let’s look at this early sign of gum disease a little more closely.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gingiva, the soft tissue that we refer to as the gums. It is not necessarily a gum disease, but it is absolutely a warning sign that infection is not far off. The good news about a diagnosis of gingivitis is that you have the opportunity to turn things around in your mouth. With intervention during this early stage, the health of your gums can be restored.
Here is the key, and one that you don’t want to miss. Gingivitis needs to be treated. Chances are, you missed the warning signs; not because you weren’t looking, but because they are just that subtle. Unless you view your gums with magnification every day, you may not see the ever-so-slight swelling or redness. If anything, you may take notice of a little pink, which indicates bleeding, when you brush. This is the time to act.
Why Gingivitis Develops
It’s easy to think that gingivitis happens only to people who don’t practice good oral hygiene. That just isn’t true. Maybe you brush every day, but you are rushed when you do it and spend less than the recommended two minutes on the task. Maybe flossing is hit and miss, only done a few days a week. Sometimes, the plaque that causes gingivitis is just hard to get to, and it sticks, causing inflammation.
There are several factors that influence gum health. We are here to help you discover what those are, and how to navigate them. To schedule your exam and cleaning in our Palm Beach Gardens practice, call (561) 627-9000.