When it comes to your oral health, it can be easy to dismiss or ignore some of the terminology associated with various conditions or procedures. It makes sense. Why would you need to know about a treatment or disease you don’t need or have? However, if you don’t take care of your teeth, you could end up with some of these issues before you know it. If you take a little time to familiarize yourself with some dental conditions and procedures ahead of time, you have a better chance at avoiding them in the future. One such condition is “gingivitis.” You may know that it’s gum disease, but the general knowledge usually stops about there. Let’s pull the curtain back on gingivitis and find out what exactly this condition is and how best to avoid it.

Gingivitis Is a Product of Bacteria in and around the Gum Line

When you brush your teeth, you probably focus on the surfaces that everyone will see. Of course you want a bright smile, but brushing around your gum line is super important as well. Bacteria build up in and around your gum line, just as they do on your teeth. If you experience an infection of the gums for a prolonged period of time, gingivitis will develop. This first stage of gum disease involves inflammation and pain. If your dentist spots gingivitis, he or she can help to reverse the condition, often with a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing).

Failure to Treat Gingivitis Leads to Periodontitis

There’s a reason your dentist and the ADA are so concerned with preventing gingivitis. While this condition is reversible, it’s just the beginning of gum disease. If you don’t treat your gingivitis, it will worsen into periodontitis. This condition is irreversible, so you will have to treat it for the rest of your life. Periodontitis causes a weakening of the jaw bone, meaning you could suffer tooth loss. Don’t let it come to that. Attack gingivitis and its causes head on.

Regular Dentist Visits Help Avoid Gingivitis as Well

While taking care of your teeth at home helps a lot, you should also make biannual visits to your dentist so that he or she can check for the signs of gingivitis and provide professional treatment. You want to avoid periodontitis at all costs. To schedule your appointment with Greenhaven Family Dental, a talented team of professionals, contact the office in Baxter, MN at 218-454-0523.