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Gingivitis: Mild Gum Disease


Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, can lead to periodontitis if it’s not treated. If your dentist or hygienist tells you that you have gingivitis, make sure you treat it. At this stage, gingivitis usually can be reversed.

Gingivitis symptoms may not be obvious.

Unlike advanced gum disease, gingivitis symptoms are not as noticeable to most people. As the mildest form of periodontal disease, you may not have much discomfort. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen or bleed easily, make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentist. Have your dentist check out any symptoms.

Treat gingivitis promptly.

Professional dental treatment can arrest gingivitis. Make sure you follow up at home by taking good care of your teeth and gums. You need to brush at least twice daily. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Floss every day, as well. Flossing gets rid of plaque below the gum lines. Hundreds of different kinds of bacteria live in plaque.

If you don’t know how to floss, ask a pro – your hygienist or dentist can show you proper technique.

Keep your gums healthy to prevent gingivitis.

One way to avoid gingivitis is to take care of your gums. Some risk factors for gingivitis, like genetics, you can’t control, but you can do something about many others:

  • Quit Smoking. Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. And, smoking makes it harder to treat gingivitis.
  • Hormonal changes. Look out, ladies. Sometimes hormones can make your gums more sensitive and possibly easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
  • Other illnesses and their treatments. Diseases that compromise your immune system and treatments for cancer can negatively affect the health of your gums.
  • If you take a medication that makes your mouth dry, be sure to sip water throughout the day. Saliva helps protect your mouth against bacteria. Without enough saliva, your mouth may become vulnerable to gum disease.

Is it time to schedule your dental checkup? Request an appointment online or call 1-800-SMILE-23. Konikoff Dentistry has eight locations with three offices in Chesapeake, one in Suffolk and four in Virginia Beach.

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