Causes Of Gingivitis

Cosmetic_DentistOne of the most common conditions that cosmetic dentists see and treat is gingivitis – the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. It is an extremely common disease, with as many as 90 percent of all adults having gingivitis occurring around three or four of their teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which can lead to bone loss in the jaw and require surgery to heal completely.

The good news is that gingivitis can easily be stopped in its tracks. Here are four common causes of the condition, and suggestions on how to reverse them.

  1. Poor oral hygiene – The ideal regimen for taking care of your teeth is to brush twice a day and floss once a day. If necessary, your cosmetic dentist can also prescribe a special antibiotic mouthwash, time-released antiseptic chips, or oral antibiotics to heal your gingivitis.
  2. Dry mouth – Without sufficient flow of saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to bacteria that can damage teeth and gums. Many medications produce dry mouth as a side effect; if you’re suffering from gingivitis, discuss the possibility of switching medications with your dentist and physician and step up your consumption of water to counteract the effects of dry mouth.
  3. Not visiting your dentist regularly – Even if you’re consuming enough water and taking care of your teeth at home, once the level of bacterial plaque in your mouth has reached a certain level, only a thorough cleaning or other treatment by your dental professional will remove it. Beyond visiting your dentist’s office as soon as possible for a standard teeth cleaning, scaling or root planing may be recommended to remove additional plaque from your teeth and protect your gums.
  4. Stress – Believe it or not, simply being in crowded, stressful situations can negatively impact our gums! Research has confirmed this correlation,  by observing diverse environments ranging from foxholes in war to college dorms during finals week. To protect your immune system from the effects of stress, consider meditation, exercise, nutrition and other tools as part of a proactive stress management strategy.

Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist who practices in central Phoenix, says, “Just as we bandage an open wound, or take antibiotics to treat an upper respiratory infection, using a combination of self-care and dental interventions to treat gingivitis is necessary to ensure your good health!”

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