You do not need to be a dental professional to tell if you have gingivitis, aka gum disease. If your gums are tart red, irritated, sore, and bleeding, you probably have gingivitis. Bleeding anywhere on the body, especially the mouth, is not good. Common sense, right?
Unfortunately, this is so widespread that half of Americans over age 30 (almost 65 million!) have some form of periodontal disease, and do not realize it. The early symptoms are mild so many folks do not understand the negative health risks. Tooth sensitivity is heightened when gums are infected, which is why some people with gingivitis may experience an uncomfortable sensation when they sip hot or cold drinks.
Please do not tolerate bleeding gums or discomfort around your teeth. It is a sign that you could improve your oral health! Just as you would exercise or eat healthier to combat other body ailments, you want to be proactive about your oral health, too. Gingivitis occurs because your oral hygiene is not adequate, and you are leaving a ton of residue along the gum line. Gingivitis is reversible, but you must continue to improve your oral hygiene and prevent it from getting worse.
In addition to flossing daily and brushing at least twice a day, you should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and checkups. By keeping your plague buildup in check, you can prevent gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis, which is irreversible and can lead to bone loss. It is crucial to get rid of the plaque around the teeth before it hardens to tartar or calculus, which will really irritate the gums, and cannot be cleaned with a toothbrush. When plaque becomes tartar, it can only be removed by your dental professional.
Getting rid of gingivitis does not happen overnight. It really is a matter of routine consistency, healthy habits, and professional support. It is important to take care of gum disease while your symptoms are still mild and seemingly tolerable. You do not want gingivitis to progress to periodontitis! If you think you have gingivitis, let this be a wakeup call to take care of your oral health. It is not too late!