Do you have gingivitis? If you do, you are not alone. Almost nine percent of American adults have this mild form of gum disease. Unfortunately, left untreated, gingivitis progresses to moderate and then severe periodontitis. An additional 40 percent of people in the United States suffer from it, says the American Academy of Periodontology. But, don't be unduly alarmed because your periodontist in Lexington, MA, Dr. David Rosen, is an expert in diagnosing and treating gum disease. He can detail the symptoms, causes and treatments of gingivitis so your oral and systemic health thrives.
Just What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an inflammation and infection of the gums primarily caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar. This biofilm forms from the food residues left on our teeth after meals and snacks. Both plaque and tartar harbor harmful oral bacteria which lead to symptoms of:
- Bleeding, especially while brushing and flossing
While you may not notice gum disease at its earliest stages, Dr. Rosen and his professional team can spot it on oral examination. That's why he asks his patients to see him for semi-annual check-ups and hygienic cleanings. Dr. Rosen performs a simple diagnostic check called periodontal probing in which he uses a small tool to measure the depth of gum pockets. These spaces between gums and teeth should measure no deeper than three millimeters. Larger pockets collect plaque and tartar and are the perfect breeding ground for toxic bacteria.
Left untreated, gingivitis inevitably progresses to dangerous periodontitis. While heredity also plays a role in this progression, a weak immune system, smoking and a diet low in fruits and vegetables add to the problem.
What Can You Do about Gingivitis?
First of all, don't panic. Gingivitis is very treatable. You can halt its progression so the condition does not lead to tooth mobility or tooth loss.
Second, ask Dr. Rosen what you should do. Likely all you need is a thorough tooth scaling to remove plaque and tartar. Add routine cleanings every six months (or more frequently if your periodontist advises them) to keep your gums pink and intact.
Third, practice twice a day brushing and once a day flossing at home. Stay well-hydrated, and eat a balanced diet low in processed sugars and high in calcium and fiber. This kind of diet benefits your teeth and your waistline, too.
Fourth, know that you are in good hands. Dr. Rosen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He and his staff offer precise techniques such as gum grafting, root coverage and antibiotic therapy to heal more advanced forms of gum disease in his Lexington office.
Contact Our Practice
Dr. Rosen and his team are dedicated to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and bright. If it's time for your regular cleaning and check-up, please contact the office in Lexington, MA, today for an appointment. Call (781) 862-4550.