Recognizing and treating gum disease in the early stage of gingivitis can prevent the disease from progressing and lead to additional oral health problems, such as receding gums or even tooth loss. At Coral Bay Family Dentistry in Davis, CA, your Davis dentist, Dr. Tracey Cook, diagnoses and treats gingivitis. She can recommend specific treatments to restore the health of your gums.
Causes of Gingivitis
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. Plaque and tartar both contain harmful bacteria that can infect the gums if they are not cleaned off the teeth regularly. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms when saliva, bacteria, and food particles mix together. Consistent brushing and flossing can remove plaque, but not tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque that bonds to tooth enamel and can only be removed by professional teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office.
A primary cause of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, is poor oral hygiene. When plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth along the gum line, the harmful bacteria can infect the gums and lead to gingivitis. Developing and maintaining a thorough oral hygiene routine and scheduling regular dental checkups with cleanings can significantly reduce your risk of developing gingivitis. Limiting the consumption of sugary foods and beverages can also decrease the risk.
Signs of Gingivitis
There are several signs that can help you recognize when gingivitis has developed. If you do have symptoms of the disease, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible to stop it from spreading. Common signs of gingivitis include:
- Gums that are swollen, red, or tender
- Gums that are beginning to recede
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing
- Development of an abscess in the gums
- Loose or missing teeth
- Severe toothaches
- Chronic bad breath
Treating gingivitis promptly will prevent the disease from progressing and causing more serious oral health problems. The experienced David dentist at our office in Davis, CA, can develop an individualized treatment plan to restore your gum health. Treatments for gingivitis, as well as more advanced stages of gum disease, include:
- Scaling and Root Planing — Non-surgical procedure for deep cleaning plaque and tartar below the gum line
- Arestin — Antibiotic treatment for killing bacteria and reducing inflammation inside infected periodontal pockets
- Gum Grafting — Surgical procedure for replacing lost or damaged gum tissue
Other methods for treating gum disease at various stages include periodontal surgery to reattach gum tissue to the teeth and laser surgery to safely remove diseased gum tissue with minimal shrinkage. Periodontal plastic surgery can also be performed to reshape the gums and give them a more pleasing appearance.
Recognizing and treating gingivitis early on helps prevent the disease from progressing to a more advanced stage. For the treatment of gingivitis in Davis, CA, schedule an appointment with our Davis Dentist, Dr. Cook, by calling Coral Bay Family Dentistry at (530) 753-2845.