Gingivitis refers to an inflammation of the gums, and it is also known as gum disease. It’s a very common condition that causes irritation, redness, and swelling of the gums, and due to its noticeable effects, can be easily identified through the main gingivitis symptoms.
Since some cases of gingivitis can be very mild, you may not be aware that you have the condition as the gingivitis symptoms in such cases will also be mild. But it’s highly important to take this condition seriously and seek gingivitis treatment promptly.
Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease like periodontitis, which is a disease of the tissues that surround the teeth (the gums, soft tissues, and bone). Advanced periodontal disease stages often culminate in tooth loss.
To get you started on how to identify gingivitis symptoms, here are the characteristics of normal gums:
- They are pink and firm
- They fit snugly around the teeth
- They do not bleed easily
Gingivitis Symptoms You Should Note
- Your gums will be puffy and swollen
- You may note a change in the color of your gums (bright red or red-purple)
- Your gums may bleed for no reason (with traces of blood on your toothbrush)
- Your gums may generally be painless, unless they are touched
- Your gums may appear shiny
- Bad breath (may not be consistently present)
As gum disease gets worse (periodontitis), the symptoms will be easier to spot. These may include:
- Gums that pull away or shrink from the teeth
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Pus that comes out from the gums
- A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite
- Loosened teeth
Steps To Take Once You Notice Gingivitis Symptoms
Once you spot mild or severe gingivitis symptoms, you should immediately consult a dentist.
- Your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth and look for soft, swollen, red-purple gums
- The dentist will also use an instrument (probe) to closely examine your gums to determine if you have gingivitis or periodontitis
No further testing is usually necessary. However, your dentist may take X-rays to see if the disease has spread to the supporting structures of the teeth and to check if multiple teeth have been infected.
Tips To Avoid Gingivitis Symptoms
If you properly follow your dentist’s advice and look after your teeth and gums, they will look good and stay healthy for life. For optimum oral health:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss your teeth frequently
- Visit your dentist regularly
The good news is that gingivitis is a condition that can be reversed, once the primary gingivitis symptoms have been spotted. What’s even better is that you can keep gingivitis causes from affecting your dental health by learning how to prevent gingivitis.