Gingivitis – Are You At Risk?
Gingivitis is a term many of us have heard before, but many of us do not know our risk factor or how to identify symptoms!
While gingivitis is a “non-destructive” type of periodontal disease, it can progress to periodontitis if left untreated. Periodontitis is a much more serious disease which can lead to tooth loss.
Many patients do not even know they have a form of gingivitis as the symptoms can be mild. Thankfully, mild cases can be resolved at home with improving your oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing more frequently, and including an antiseptic mouth rinse (such as Lysterine) in your dental routine.
Know the Symptoms of Gingivitis:
- bright red or purple gums
- tender gums that may be painful to the touch
- bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing
- bad breath, or “halitosis”
- inflammation, or swollen gums
- receding gums
- soft gums
Some people are at higher risk of periodontal diseases, including people with cancer, HIV, and diabetes. Other risk factors include smoking, poor diet, hormonal changes (such as pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and the menstrual cycle), age, family history, and certain medications.
Proper dental care is the most effective way to reverse periodontal disease.
The first step to a healthy mouth is to come in for a hygiene appointment. One of our friendly hygienists will remove the built up plaque and tartar from your teeth by scaling or root planing. This can be uncomfortable if your build up is extensive or your gums are inflamed and sensitive, however, we will take the utmost care to make this appointment as comfortable as possible. You will receive instruction on how to properly floss and brush your teeth, and a follow-up appointment will be made for your next cleaning.
If left untreated, periodontitis can have serious repercussions:
Complications of untreated periodontal disease:
- abscess or infection in the gingiva or jaw bone
- periodontitis, a more serious condition that can lead to loss of bone and teeth
- recurrent gingivitis
- trench mouth, where bacterial infection leads to ulceration of the gums
Furthermore, several studies have linked periodontal disease to heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Other studies have also found periodontal disease to be a risk factor for lung disease.
If you believe you have mild-severe periodontal disease, call today to book an appointment with Dr. Shahriary and our talented hygienists. (604) 936-1263