- Red or inflamed gums: If the gums are visibly red or swollen, rather than a healthy pink, you may have gingivitis.
- Tender gums: If the gums hurt when you brush or even hurt to the touch, you probably have gingivitis.
- Bleeding gums: If the gums bleed during brushing and flossing, you definitely have gingivitis.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an infection of gum tissues caused by bacteria present in the saliva and tissues of the mouth. This disease is more prevalent in the presence of plaque or tartar buildup on teeth. Gingivitis can be painless and even harmless in the very early stages, but can grow steadily more dangerous over time.
Dangers of Gingivitis
In the early stages, gingivitis is easily reversed with proper brushing and flossing of the teeth. But as gingivitis progresses it can lead to periodontitis, in which the bacteria that began by infecting the gums cause gum tissue to pull back from the teeth, exposing the periodontal bone. Bacteria then have access to affect bone directly, causing pitting and shrinking of the bone and an eventual loosening of the teeth.
During the earlier stages of a gingival infection, your dentist will recommend careful and regular brushing and flossing. They may also take x-rays to make sure the infection hasn’t reached the bone, as well as recommend a mouthwash or topical treatment to help reverse the infection and the signs of gingivitis.
Many DDS offices have been exploring the use of topical antioxidants as an alternative to traditional therapies when addressing soft tissue inflammation in the mouth. Topical application of antioxidants is a new area in the dental field and is gaining much momentum as more offices adopt this cutting edge technology.
PerioSciences is the industry leader in antioxidant based oral care. Our AO ProVantage products and AO ProRinse can help you soothe dental tissues while freshening breath. If you have invested in your smile, orthodontics, veneers, or crowns you may want to consider daily use of an oral care product with antioxidants.