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Richard L. Rausch, DDS
1 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2201, New York, NY 10020

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Gingivitis: Symptoms and Causes in Rockefeller Plaza, NY

Are There Symptoms of Gingivitis and What Causes It?

Gingivitis often presents asymptomatically. However, if you notice bleeding when you brush or floss, or if you have noticed increasingly bad breath, then you may have the early signs of gingivitis. Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms of gingivitis, its treatments and how to prevent gum disease.

Is Gingivitis Preventable?

Gingivitis, although it’s a serious disease, is preventable through a regimen of good oral hygiene. Lack of proper oral hygiene is the primary factor in the development of gum disease, even though many people often tend to dismiss brushing and flossing as inconsequential annoyances. This is evident in statistics provided by the CDC, which state that almost half of adults who are over 30 years old have some form of gum disease. Without proper treatment, gum disease will escalate into chronic periodontitis, which is the most serious stage of gum disease. At this point, you’ll usually have a loss of the bone and tissues that support your teeth and you may need reconstructive dentistry to restore the functionality of your teeth and gums. You could experience facial deformity, as well as the loss of all of your teeth.

The AAP (American Academy of Periodontology) reports that gum disease is more common in men and that the risk increases with age. More than 70 percent of those 65 years or older have some form of periodontal disease and a substantial number of those have lost all of their teeth.

What Symptoms of Gingivitis Should I Know About?

Since gingivitis often presents without any symptoms, you may have it for a long time but be unaware of it. By the time you experience a few symptoms, the disease may have progressed to a more serious stage. However, the following indicators can signal the presence of gingival gum disease:

  • Gums that bleed gums when you floss or brush
  • Gums that have turned red or purple
  • Gums that are swollen or sensitive
  • Larger or unusual gaps between your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when you chew
  • Receding gums
  • Recurring bad breath

The presence of any or all of these symptoms indicate that you should see your dentist without delay and improve your oral hygiene practices. The earlier these symptoms are treated, the better the prognosis, and the sooner you improve your oral hygiene practices, the less the likelihood of the symptoms returning.

What Habits Will Cause Gingivitis to Develop?

Lack of good oral hygiene is the primary risk factor for developing gingivitis. Even slacking off on brushing and flossing for only a few days can get the disease started. Lack of dental checkups can also exacerbate the issue because you may not catch a problem early enough to inhibit its damage. Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal or snack, before you go to bed, and when you wake up. During the night, bacteria form in your mouth even if you brush and floss before bedtime, so it’s inadvisable to eat or drink before brushing your teeth in the morning because the bacteria will be transported to your stomach. However, even though it’s not always possible to brush and floss after a meal or snack, you should do so as frequently as you can. Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar, not drinking enough water throughout the day, and drinking beverages that are high in sugar encourage the formation of gingival disease.

Are There Risk Factors for the Development of Gingivitis?

In addition to personal habits, there are additional risk factors that will enable the development of gum disease:

  • A bridge, filling or restorative dental work that doesn’t fit properly or is defective
  • Health conditions such as diabetes or HIV that compromise your immune system
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Inadequate nutrition, especially if your diet lacks vitamin C
  • Medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, that cause dry mouth
  • Tobacco use, whether you smoke it or chew it

Can Gum Disease Adversely Affect Your Physical Health?

Gingivitis can also adversely impact your overall health or increase your likelihood of developing serious health conditions, such as:
Diabetes: Diabetics who don’t control their blood glucose levels have a higher incidence of gingivitis than those who maintain proper glucose levels and good oral hygiene. This is in addition to the neural damage, loss of vision, and kidney disease that are typically associated with diabetes.

  • Heart disease: A higher incidence of cardiac disease occurs in those with gingival disease versus in those who don’t have it.
  • Lung diseases: The bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the lungs by way of the normal respiration process and can cause a variety of lung diseases, according to the AAP.
  • Stroke: Those with gingival disease were found to have a higher incidence of stroke caused by arterial blockage to the brain than those who had other types of strokes.

What Methods Work Best to Treat Gum Disease?

The best method for controlling gingival disease is its prevention. Practicing a regimen of good oral hygiene that includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental checkups, can prevent gingivitis from gaining a foothold.

If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, please call our office to schedule a visit. You can also make an appointment online using our convenient booking tool. Remember, early treatment can save your health and your teeth, so contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Richard L. Rausch, DDS

1 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2201, New York, NY 10020

(646) 863-8184

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