How can I tell if I have gingivitis or gum disease?

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or gum disease?

Tulsa dentalThere are several dental symptoms you can look for if you are concerned about the development of gingivitis or the onset of gum disease:

Gum tissue – Red, swollen, or bleeding gum tissue is most always present with gingivitis. If your gums bleed while brushing, you might switch to a soft bristle brush and use less pressure. But if they are bleeding without provocation, a visit to the dentist is in order. Bleeding gums is often the first sign of gingivitis.

Bad breath – Chronic halitosis often accompanies gum disease. Odors from foods and beverages that contribute to bad breath can be eliminated from a healthy mouth by brushing or rinsing. However, unhealthy teeth or gums will produce a sour smell that does not go away.

Receding gums – The appearance that teeth are pulling away from the gums or teeth that feel loose most often means you are dealing with periodontal disease. Treatment can save your teeth, but immediate action is needed. Your dentist may recommend root planing and scaling; if gum disease is advanced, dental surgery may be needed to save your teeth.

Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. Your dentist can give you an accurate diagnosis and complete treatment to improve your oral health.

Failure to recognize the symptoms of gum disease; lack of a good daily oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing and flossing; missing dental cleaning appointments … these combine to create the threat of lost teeth. But if caught in its early stages, gingivitis can be eradicated. Follow-up treatment for gingivitis is also critical to maintain dental health.

Tobacco users are far more likely to develop gum disease than abstainers. Consumption of sugary snacks and beverages should be limited. If you’re given medication to treat your gum disease, follow directions carefully.

Follow the guidelines established by your dental provider … brushing at least twice each day with a fluoridated tooth paste; floss daily to remove particles your tooth brush didn’t reach and keep gum tissue stimulated; see your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam.

Any unusual oral symptoms should not go unchecked … if caught early, most any dental condition can be treated successfully to allow you to keep your teeth healthy for life. For more information or to schedule your next exam and cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Mark E. Massaro at 918-779-3399 today.