Everything you need to know about Gingivitis
If you experience dark and painful gums, it is possible that you may have gum diseases, also known as gingivitis. Normally, a healthy gum color is pink or reddish. Dark gums can indicate gum damage that can occur due to gum disease. If left untreated, it can damage the tooth structure and in some cases loosen the teeth. However, dark gums not necessarily mean gingivitis; you need to check with your dental specialist to ensure that the cause of dark gums is something else. Here are a couple of things you should know about gingivitis to identify it for timely treatment.
What exactly is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a gum disease that can be caused due to lack of hygiene and plaque. Usually, lack of hygiene leads to plaque, which is a yellowish deposit that sticks to the surface of the teeth and over time causes tooth decay and gum recession.
Lack of treatment can make you lose your teeth and cause serious gum damage that may not be repairable.
There are many signs that can point to gingivitis, some of them include:
- Tender gums
- Puffy gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Dark red gums
- Bleeding gums
As mentioned above, lack of proper hygiene is the prominent cause of gingivitis; lack of hygiene over a certain period of time triggers plaque to turn into tartar.
Without proper dental cleaning, plaque forms on the surface of the teeth. It is usually impossible to clear away all of it through brushing and flossing. If it becomes severe, it is advised to have it cleared through dental scaling.
If left untreated, it turns into tartar or calculus which inhabits bacteria. If plaque turns to tartar, it becomes even more difficult to remove and becomes far more dangerous for the gums.
Anyone can suffer from gingivitis due to daily habits. Some of the main causes of gum disease include:
- Older age
- Poor oral hygiene (as mentioned)
- Poor nutrition
- Smoking and use of tobacco
- Hormonal changes
- Dry mouth
- Crooked teeth that are hard to clean
- Health conditions that reduce immunity (for example, cancer and HIV)
- Certain medications
The only effective treatment for gingivitis is plaque removal which can be achieved through proper dental cleaning. If plaque does not go away with brushing or alcohol-based mouth wash, see your dental specialist immediately before it causes gum disease.
How to Prevent Gingivitis?
Prevention is always better than cure. To ensure that you or any of your family members do not suffer from Gingivitis, consider proper dental cleaning and see your dentist at least twice a year. A specialized dental care provider can identify Gingivitis in its early stage and therefore can offer timely care.
Dental care should be an important part of your health care. Make sure that you have dental health inspection at least once a year to identify the hidden problems that may not be visible to you.