How to Deal with Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be a mild problem, but if not treated properly by a dentist in Lancaster, PA, it can become serious. At Smiles by Stevens, we want to make sure you understand the warning signs that you may be developing gingivitis so that we can help you start to recover.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis, also called periodontal disease, is a kind of gum disease. Gingivitis causes redness, swelling, and bleeding in the part of the gums that goes around the base of your teeth. By itself, gingivitis is not dangerous. However, if you do not treat your gingivitis, it can progress to periodontitis, which can cause you to lose your teeth.

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What Causes Gingivitis?

The most common cause of gingivitis is failing to keep your gums and teeth clean. Most people can prevent gingivitis by maintaining healthy habits, such as brushing their teeth twice daily, flossing daily, and seeing our dentist in Lancaster, PA, twice a year for cleaning and exams.

How to Tell If You Have Gingivitis

There are several signs our best dentists in Lancaster, PA, look for to see if you have gingivitis:

  • Your gums are noticeably swollen or puffy.
  • Your gums are darker than usual, such as a dark red color.
  • You notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss.
  • Your gums feel tender and painful.
  • And/or you have bad breath.

How Long Should You Wait to See a Dentist in Lancaster, PA, After Seeing the Signs?

You should never hesitate to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Lancaster, PA, as soon as you see signs that something is wrong. Dr. Shea F. Stevens will be able to make sure you know what your diagnosis is so you can start treatment right away.

One reason it is important to check with a dentist is that your symptoms could also mean that something else is going on. It is essential to get a correct diagnosis to stay healthy.

What Causes Gingivitis?

The real cause of gingivitis is plaque, which can be caused by a mixture of saliva and leftover food particles in the mouth. Plaque builds up on your teeth if it is not dealt with. You have to get rid of it daily because it is a sticky film of bacteria.

If plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens and turns into tartar, which also collects bacteria and is harder to remove. You will need our dentist in Lancaster, PA, to remove tartar. The longer plaque and tartar remain in the area, the more irritated your gums become.

Risk Factors for Gingivitis

Certain events and characteristics may make you more likely to develop gingivitis.

  • Poor habits when it comes to brushing and flossing
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Having a chronically dry mouth
  • Being older
  • Malnutrition, especially if you do not get enough vitamin C
  • Crooked teeth that are hard to clean or an implant that you have a hard time getting into
  • If you take drugs that lower your immunity,
  • If you take certain drugs, such as phenytoin or calcium channel blockers,
  • If you have certain medical conditions, such as a viral or fungal infection,
  • Your genes might put you at risk if gingivitis runs in your family.

Treatment for Gingivitis

Before starting treatment, our dentist in Lancaster, PA, will first make sure that you do have gingivitis. You will receive a physical exam of your mouth, teeth, and gums, and Dr. Stevens will probably order X-rays. Our best dentists in Lancaster, PA, will also examine your medical history.

If you do have gingivitis, our dentist will immediately start you on a treatment plan. The first thing you will need is a good, professional dental cleaning to remove all traces of bacteria and plaque. If you have any broken teeth or problems with existing dental work, our dentist might repair them. Then, you will get a home treatment plan and an appointment to follow up with our best dentists in Lancaster, PA, in the future.

Make an appointment today.

Smiles by Stevens can assist with all your dental needs. Dr. Stevens specializes in general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. We are committed to meeting you and your family’s needs at every stage of life.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, you can contact our dentist in Lancaster, PA, by calling (717) 581-0123 today.