175 South State Street
Manhattan, IL 60442
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Posts for: September, 2010
Gingivitis -- an inflammation of the gums -- is the mildest form of periodontal (gum) disease and the easiest to treat. The leading cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, which leads to plaque buildup. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth and gums. When plaque isn't removed with daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis and eventually advancing to the most severe form of gum disease when left untreated. Other factors may contribute to gingivitis as well, including smoking, aging, diabetes, nutrition and pregnancy.
The signs and symptoms of gingivitis are often subtle, and many people have gingivitis without even knowing it. It's important to notify Manhattan Dental Care when you notice the slightest changes in the condition of your gums, including:
- Gums that bleed easily during and after brushing or flossing your teeth
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Change in color of gums from pink to red
- Bad tasting or smelling breath
- Soft, tender gums
Reversing the Symptoms to Save Your Teeth
With professional treatment from your dentist and an improvement in your oral hygiene, gingivitis can easily be reversed since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected. Left untreated, however, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a serious infection that destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. As the disease progresses, gums begin to recede and the teeth shift and become loose. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Luckily, keeping gums healthy and avoiding gum disease is easy with good oral hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist. You can promote healthy gums and stop gingivitis before it develops by:
- Brush regularly, at least twice a day
- Floss daily
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Rinse with mouthwash after brushing and flossing
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
- Visit our [location] office regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups
Gingivitis is a serious condition that can lead to severe forms of gum disease when left untreated. Fortunately, with a dedicated dental health plan and regular visits to Manhattan Dental Care, gingivitis is easy to detect and easy to reverse before it has a chance to advance to periodontitis.
You already know that in order to avoid serious dental problems you need to practice good oral hygiene. However, many of us too often neglect these basic habits, and as a result we have to face the negative consequences, including cavities, bad breath, tooth loss and gum disease.
With that being said, it may be time to "brush up" on your oral hygiene. Daily dental care, including brushing and flossing will help combat the buildup of plaque and fight tooth decay, gum disease and other serious health problems.
Dental Health Tips from Manhattan Dental Care
Brushing: Get in the habit of brushing your teeth morning and night, spending at least two minutes brushing all areas of your teeth to remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen the teeth and combat decay, and brush after consuming sugary foods and drinks when possible. Remember to replace your toothbrush every few months or when it begins to show wear.
Flossing: Only flossing can remove food particles and debris from between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. It's important to floss once a day, gently maneuvering the floss between each of your teeth until you reach the gum line. Doing so can help prevent dangerous plaque and tartar from accumulating which can lead to gum disease.
Diet: Sugary snacks taste great, but they aren't so great for your teeth. Foods high in sugars and starches contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity. If you must eat foods high in sugar or starch, eat them during meals rather than between meals, and avoid any foods that stick to your teeth as these can produce more plaque. To avoid stains, be mindful of tea, coffee, soda and other dark foods and beverages that can discolor your teeth.
Checkups and Cleanings: Visiting Manhattan Dental Care regularly at our [location] office for routine checkups and cleanings is the most important step you can take to maintaining a healthy smile. During these important visits we can detect and treat a number of oral health conditions including tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancers.
Next time you visit Manhattan Dental Care, ask us for tips for caring for your teeth and gums. We can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention and care during brushing and flossing. Diligent dental care at home combined with regular visits to our Manhattan, IL office are the best ways to keep your teeth looking and feeling their very best.