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What is Gingivitis?

What is GingivitisWhat is gingivitis? Gingivitis is a common dental disorder that affects most American adults at some time in life. Involving inflammation of the gums, it is the earliest stage of gum disease and can progress to severe periodontitis if left untreated. Accumulation of plaque and tartar, which harbor toxic oral bacteria, is known to cause gingivitis and can often be prevented with proper dental care.

Signs of Gingivitis

Gums affected by gingivitis are marked by common signs of inflammation, including redness, swelling and tenderness. When patients with gingivitis brush their teeth, they may notice bleeding. As the disease progresses, the gums develop pockets where bacteria reside and the breath often smells foul due to toxins produced by the bacteria.

Preventing Gingivitis

What is gingivitis prevention? Patients can reduce gingivitis risk by practicing good dental hygiene at home and visiting our dentist at least twice each year for check-ups. Because smoking is also associated with higher gingivitis risk, smokers who want to avoid gum disease should quit. Finally, patients should eat a varied and nutritious diet that is low in sugar to support a healthy immune system.

So, what is gingivitis? It is the earliest stage of gum disease, and with timely treatment, it can often be reversed. Depending on the stage of the disease, our periodontist may recommend scaling and root planing, antiseptic mouth rinses or both. By scheduling a consultation with our periodontist in Los Angeles, patients can learn more about gingivitis, its treatments and methods of prevention.

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