Pediatric dental specialists now offering NEW special offers! Call 832-804-7427 to schedule now
Learn More
Lovett Logo
Call Us
Clear Aligners

What is Gingivitis?

a doctor checking on a patients gums after she asked What is gingivitis

While most American adults visit their dentist at least once a year, dental problems are still common in the United States. Conditions like tooth decay, which impact more than 90% of adults, can lead to other dental problems, such as periodontal disease. Gum disease affects 47.2% of all adults and 50% of adults ages 30 and older in the United States, with gingivitis as one of the most common types of gum disease. But what is gingivitis, and how is it treated?

Gingivitis causes your gums to swell and can cause pits to develop between your teeth and gums, leading to loose teeth. While gingivitis is highly preventable, untreated tooth decay and plaque buildup can lead to gum disease, making regular dental exams and proper oral hygiene extremely important.

At Lovett Dental, teeth cleaning services are an important way to treat and prevent gingivitis, as removing food particles, and bacteria can prevent gingivitis from worsening. Removing food particles in your gum lines and between your teeth and gums helps protect you from infections and tooth loss.

What is Gingivitis?

So, what is gingivitis? Gingivitis is a dental condition that causes inflammation in your gums. Gingivitis typically occurs when maladies like tooth decay don't get proper treatment. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria are allowed to remain in your mouth. Food particles can become lodged and trapped between your teeth, which can cause bacteria to accumulate in your mouth.

Food particles can also cause plaque to develop on the enamel of your teeth. Your enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth and protects your dentin and pulp. When your enamel thins, it can cause your teeth to loosen from your gums and lead to lead to discoloration. If tartar and plaque become stuck between your teeth and gums, gingivitis can occur.

If you ask yourself what gingivitis is, it is important to remember that gingivitis takes time to develop and worsen without treatment. The most common symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Bleeding when you floss
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Sore and tender gums
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Gum discoloration

Ultimately, gingivitis can cause pits to develop, causing loose teeth. If the pits become too large, you may have to have one or more teeth extracted. Gingivitis can also cause periodontitis, a serious infection that causes damage to your soft tissue and bones. Gingivitis is the leading cause of periodontitis. This makes it important to get gingivitis treatment as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms.

How Do You Treat Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is highly treatable. Since tooth decay is a common cause of gingivitis, treating any and all underlying tooth decay is the first step in successful gingivitis treatment. At Lovett Dental, a  trained periodontal specialist will take x-rays and evaluate your dental health to correct the root cause of your gingivitis.

You may require root planing if you have a moderate or severe case of gingivitis. Root planing involves removing bacteria caused by inflammation and helping your gums heal properly. Tartar and plaque removal is another effective way to treat gingivitis.

Making sure that your mouth is properly aligned is another common gingivitis treatment. Crooked, missing, and fractured teeth can create a pathway for bacteria to enter your gums. Additionally, other dental problems may cause damage and irritation to your gums. Improperly fitted crowns or fillings can cause gum pain, so correcting underlying issues can help eliminate your symptoms.

Making a Dental Appointment Today

If you ask yourself, "what is gingivitis," chances are you are experiencing gum pain. Proper dental hygiene is the best way to protect against conditions like gingivitis. If you are experiencing gingivitis symptoms, calling your dentist is the best way to take control of your dental health. Call Lovett Dental today at 832-804-7427 to schedule an appointment.