Learning The Symptoms To Protect Your Dental Health
Gingivitis and periodontitis are not strange to anyone, but they are not what you want to hear from your Washington Heights dentist. Spotting these gum diseases is crucial to maintaining good oral care. But, how can we spot the differences between them?
The first step is understanding the difference between gum sensitivity and gum disease. Read on to learn more about it.
What Is Gum Sensitivity?
Gum sensitivity or soreness is a minor inflammation, and it is characterized by slight gum pain. Sometimes it is a symptom of gingivitis, but it can also be inflammation and nothing else.
If infrequent and focalized, it may be a gum inflammation due to traumatic brushing or rough dental cleaning.
If you floss or brush your teeth vigorously, you may be causing damage to your gums. Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles is also traumatic for your gums.
Switch your toothbrush to an extra-soft bristled one, and remember to change it once every two or three months.
What Is Gingivitis? What Is Its Difference From Gum Sensitivity?
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. A bacterial infection is usually the first cause of it. If left untreated, it can become a more serious disease (periodontitis).
Gingivitis is not always painful, so it is not easy to identify if there’s no Washington Heights dentist around.
Some symptoms are persistent, so they can indicate if you’re already suffering from gingivitis. These symptoms are:
- Swollen and tender gums
- Bleeding gums (especially when you brush)
- Persistent redness
- Sensitive teeth
Bleeding gums after flossing or brushing is probably the most common symptom. Keep in mind that gum bleeding is never expected, so you must visit your dentist if your gums start bleeding after brushing.
By visiting the dentist as soon as possible, you will be rooting out any problems before they are more serious.
What Is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is the later stage of gum infection. Unchecked gingivitis leads to periodontitis, hence the importance of visiting the dentist as soon as possible.
When gum disease reaches this stage, loss of the structures around the teeth has already happened, and that’s irreversible. That being said, more invasive procedures will be necessary to solve the problem.
In addition to gum irritation, bleeding, and pain, you may also experience these symptoms with periodontitis:
- Loose teeth
- Exposure of the tooth root
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Identifiable pockets (plaque between the gums and teeth)
Understanding the severity of periodontitis is crucial to minimizing tooth loss. The best you can do is to visit a Washington Heights dental clinic as soon as you feel swollen gums.
How Can I Prevent Gingivitis & Periodontitis?
Gingivitis is a reversible condition, so you can easily manage it with at-home treatments. However, do not forget to visit the dentist to receive the proper dental care regimen, especially to remove plaque.
To prevent Gingivitis, do not forget to:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day. Stay alert to hard-to-reach areas, and remember to floss softly.
- Use anti-gingivitis products like alcohol-free mouthwash and toothpaste.
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year for checkups and dental cleaning.
Since gum disease is progressive, you must also stay alert to other habits beyond just brushing. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease, but other factors can also influence, including smoking, drinking too much wine or coffee, pregnancy, systemic diseases like diabetes, and so on.
Some of these factors may be inevitable (such as pregnancy if you’re planning to have a child), so focus on your diet and lifestyle habits to prevent gum diseases.
When Should I See a Washington Heights dentist?
You should contact a dentist immediately if you think you might have gum disease. Remember that it can be reversed at the early stages.
Nevertheless, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for deep dental cleaning and checkups. This is one of the best ways to prevent serious gum diseases like periodontitis.
We recommend you contact Esthetix Dental Spa to obtain the healthy smile you deserve. We provide numerous dental services including dental cleaning, root canal, implant, fast braces, and more. Contact us now to schedule your appointment or learn more about our services.