Gingivitis is when the gums around your teeth get red, puffy and bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth. Gingivitis can be reversed with improved oral hygiene, such as longer and more frequent brushing, and flossing. In addition, an antiseptic mouthwash and saltwater rinses may help. However, without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. This is where the inflammation around the gums results in tissue and bone loss around the teeth.

In some cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, at the office of Brent J. Porter, D.D.S, your Santa Cruz Children’s Dentist, the condition is taken seriously and addressed immediately.

What causes Gigivitis?

The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth. The plaque triggers an immune response, which can lead to the destruction of gingival, or gum tissue. When plaque is not removed adequately, it can harden into calculus (tartar) at the base of the teeth near the gums. This has a yellow color and can only be removed professionally. Plaque and tartar eventually irritate the gums, causing gum inflammation around the base of the teeth. In addition, failing to brush and floss your teeth properly can make your breath smell unpleasant. Because plaque and bacteria accumulate on and between your teeth when you eat, it is important to brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush twice daily. Food must also be removed from between your teeth by flossing. Proper and efficient brushing and flossing will prevent a bad odor.

Signs and symptoms of gingivitis might include:

  • bright red gums
  • tender gums that may be painful to the touch
  • bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing
  • bad breath
  • inflammation, or swollen gums
  • receding gums

Treatment for Gingivitis

Dr. Porter will check for gingivitis symptoms during each 6 month cleaning and exam. Treatment for gingivitis involves scaling the teeth to remove plaque and tartar. This can be uncomfortable, especially if tartar build-up is extensive, or the gums are very sensitive. If diagnosis happens early, and if treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed. A daily routine of good oral hygiene and diet will ultimately determine the success of the treatment.

Please contact our friendly team today if you have questions or would like to schedule a visit with Brent J. Porter D.D.S., Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist at (831) 459-9802, we look forward to hearing from you!