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Why Preventing Gingivitis is Important

Nearly everyone gets a mild case of gingivitis from time to time and, when it’s caught early enough, it’s easily treated without many complications. Unfortunately, many people let it go either because they don’t recognize the signs and symptoms or because they don’t want to visit the dentist.

In most cases, it could have been prevented and it’s much easier to prevent gum disease than to treat it after it becomes a problem. Early treatment of gingivitis and gum disease is essential for your overall oral health. Left untreated, gingivitis leads to other oral health and general health problems that could have been prevented.

Sore, Swollen, Bleeding Gums

Gingivitis is most noticeable by its symptoms of sore, swollen and bleeding gums. The gum line may recede, accompanied by chronic bad breath and tooth sensitivity. In its early stages, the symptoms may seem more of an inconvenience than a real issue. The gums become slightly puffy and itchy. Gradually, it progresses to swollen, painful gums.

At this stage, the gums are sensitive to the touch and easily bleed when brushing your teeth or while eating certain foods. As gingivitis advances, gums can bleed without warning during your regular daily activities. This makes basic activities such as brushing, eating and talking difficult.

Tooth and Bone Loss

When gingivitis spreads to the bone and soft tissues that hold your teeth in place, teeth become loose, move and may fall out completely. Receding gums also expose more of the tooth openly, allowing bacteria to easily infect more surface area, which also leads to additional cavities and other tooth problems. Additionally, bacteria collects under the gums and in pockets between the teeth and gums. This bacteria settles in and spreads through the roots of the teeth, causing decay and, over time, tooth loss.

Gingivitis Progresses to Periodontitis

The bacteria and plaque buildup that causes gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that may need surgery to correct, depending on the severity. Periodontitis is a serious condition by itself, but it also increases the risk for other serious non-oral health conditions.

Although more studies need to occur to determine if gum disease causes these other health conditions, the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth does contribute to your overall health and is known to increase the risk of other illnesses.

Pregnancy and Gingivitis

Gingivitis poses additional problems for pregnant women. Studies show that gum disease increases the risk of premature birth or giving birth to a low birth weight baby. Additionally, pregnancy often contributes to calcium loss and weaker teeth. When you add gingivitis to the mix, it greatly increases the risk of severe complications and tooth loss.

If you have symptoms of beginning or late gingivitis, it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible. Contact us at Novi Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment and discuss your options. Your gums will thank you.

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