Gingivitis Symptoms- How To Stop Gums From Bleeding And Cure
If you were in Mohit’s shoes, you would have panicked just as he did. What happened? One morning, when he woke up, his gums felt sore and inflamed. He had been having this feeling for some time and when he started brushing his teeth, he saw his gums bleeding. Automatically, he panicked and rushed to his trusted family physician. The doctor informed him about the condition that he had, namely gingivitis.
There are many visible signs of gingivitis or gingivitis symptoms as doctors call it. You should stay alert and learn more about this disease, in order to protect yourself from the same.
What Do We Mean by Gingivitis?
Gingivitis meaning is an inflammation caused by bacterial infections, where the gums get inflamed. If it is early-stage gingivitis and treatment starts quickly, then one can recover swiftly. However, if left on its own, it may lead to something more serious called periodontitis. They are both key reasons behind adults losing teeth as per experts.
There are several causes behind early-stage gum disease as gingivitis is sometimes called. They include the following:
- Overgrowth of plaque in the mouth.
- Poor dental hygiene and brushing/flossing practices.
- Specific medicines include the likes of cyclosporine and phenytoin.
- Heavy metal exposure including nickel.
- Hormonal fluctuations, especially after menopause and during the time of pregnancy.
- Severe Vitamin C deficiencies.
- Bismuth exposure (this element is contained in some makeup products).
- Specific fungal/viral infections like thrush.
- An affected tooth that is not fully emerging.
What Leads to Gingivitis?
Before you start noticing gingivitis symptoms, you should know more about the specific causes. They include the following:
- The gums attach at a lower point to the teeth, forming a sulcus or smaller zone where plaque and food get stuck, leading to the infection.
- Plaque is a thin bacterial film, forming continually on the tooth surfaces, and with advancement, it starts getting harder. Gingivitis takes place when plaque starts venturing below your gum line.
- Gingivitis may lead to the gums separating from your teeth altogether, leading to injuries to the bones and tissues that support the latter along with tooth losses.
Here are some of the risk factors that you should note in this regard:
- Chewing tobacco and smoking.
- Oral contraceptives, steroids, chemotherapy, etc.
- Broken dental fillings.
- Poor immunity and other ailments.
- Genetic aspects.
Here are some of the symptoms that you should look out for:
- Tender, swollen and red gums.
- Bleeding upon flossing/brushing your teeth.
- Loose and unstable teeth.
- Gums pull away gradually from the teeth.
- Pus between the gums and teeth.
- Changes in how teeth fit together while biting.
- Pain while you are chewing.
- Teeth which are sensitive.
- Partial dentures which do not fit properly.
- A foul odor that remains even after brushing.
Diagnosis and Treatment
- The dentist will gently examine the gums with a ruler in order to find out inflammation.
- It will also track pockets around the teeth. The usual depth ranges between 1-3 mm.
- X-rays may also be required for finding any signs of bone loss.
- You should reduce smoking and give up altogether if possible.
- You should also properly manage diabetes if you have it.
- Make sure that you are properly clean and maintain your teeth.
- You may also require surgery and antibiotic medicines in serious cases.
- Make sure that you go for teeth scaling for removing the tartar.
- There are laser treatments available these days that help in tartar removal with lower bleeding and pain.
- Root planing is another procedure that helps in the removal of tartar and plaque.
- You may be prescribed antiseptic mouthwashes with chlorhexidine.
- You may also get antiseptic chips with chlorhexidine put into pockets post your root planing procedure.
- Antibiotic microspheres may also be put into these pockets after planing and scaling procedures.
- Doctors may also prescribe antibiotics to be consumed orally, including doxycycline.
Read More: What Is A Dental Exam?
Surgical Procedures that are often needed include the following:
- Bone and tissue grafting.
- Flap surgery for lifting back your gums and removing plaque/tartar from inner pockets.
- Gum graft surgeries for using tissues taken from the root of your mouth for covering the root which is exposed.
- Another procedure is dental crown lengthening.
The Bottom Line
You can successfully keep gingivitis at bay by regularly going to the dentist and also brushing daily with fluoride toothpaste. You can also floss your teeth on a daily basis. Consumption of a balanced diet is also essential in this regard. Research has also shown that gum disease is sometimes linked to higher risks for conditions such as heart ailments, diabetes, lung ailments, and strokes. Hence, practice good oral hygiene habits and keep your dentist in the loop about any symptoms.