What is Gingivitis

You just left your dentist and the news wasn’t great. What you thought was a simple case of brushing too hard, has now been diagnosed as gingivitis. Like most people, you wonder if you could have done more to prevent this. You may also be wondering just what exactly gingivitis is. Look no further, we have the answers to your gingivitis questions.

What is Gingivitis

Gingivitis is defined as inflammation of the gums. It’s a simple definition for a surprisingly complex topic. When diagnosed with gingivitis, the definition is more than a symptom of inflammation. Gingivitis is described as tender, swollen gums. They could also be bright red and sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. While gingivitis is a common problem, it could potentially lead to other gum diseases and eventual tooth loss. 

Can You Catch Gingivitis 

Most people don’t realize that gingivitis is contagious. Because it’s considered an infection, it acts just like other infections. Therefore, if you sharing food or even kiss someone with gingivitis, you can absolutely introduce those bacteria to your mouth. So yes, you should take caution if you’re regularly with someone with gingivitis. 

The good news is that by taking care of your own oral health, this disease is treatable. Brushing, rinsing, and flossing help prevent germs from settling into your gums. Just like the rest of your body fights infection best when it’s healthy, healthy gums withstand a brush with bacteria.

How Do You Get Gingivitis?

The life of gingivitis starts out as a simple plaque source. When you eat or drink, the bacteria on your teeth eat the same food you do. Unfortunately, they also excrete that food, in the form of plaque. Plaque is the soft, almost white substance that you brush and floss off every time you clean your teeth. Plaque is not good, but regularly brushing and flossing keeps it mild. When you miss your cleaning, plaque builds up, and accumulates into tartar. This is a hard substance that is very difficult to get off on your own. Most people experience some tartar build up, but have it removed during regular cleanings. This is why your six-month cleanings at the dentist are important; they keep tartar build-up under control. 

When left unchecked, tartar begins to extend above and below the gum line. In time, gingivitis develops. Your gums become soft, inflamed, and sensitive. Gingivitis symptoms make your mouth so uncomfortable. If left uncheck, gingivitis eventually causes gum separation, bad breath, and bleeding.

How to Get Rid of Gingivitis

There are home remedies that claim to address gingivitis, however it’s best if you see your dentist about it. Because the root cause of gingivitis is tartar build up under your gums, it’s difficult for your toothbrush to reach all these areas. The symptoms of gingivitis can be treated with home remedies. For example, gently swishing diluted hydrogen peroxide helps to treat symptoms in your gums. However, to cure gingivitis, you should make a trip to see your dentist. They can clean your teeth and help you establish the good brushing and flossing habits that will keep you healthy.

How to Prevent Gingivitis

You can prevent gingivitis the same way you prevent cavities, with brushing and flossing. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to stop plaque from building up and forming tartar to begin with. You can begin by carrying a small, travel toothbrush and travel floss with you to work, etc. In time, brushing becomes a simple habit. Until then, make yourself a checklist and check off brushing and flossing 3-4 times a day. Your teeth will thank you. 

Gingivitis symptoms are uncomfortable even at the start, but they just get worse with time. Your dentist can diagnose gingivitis and help you control it. You’re going to have to prevent gingivitis yourself, through good brushing and flossing. If someone you love has gingivitis, exercise caution. Yes, it can be contagious—but you can protect yourself. 

Dr. Guy Peabody has been a practicing dentist in Santa Cruz, California for more than 30 year. Please feel free to call and schedule an appointment to discuss your potential dental implant needs. He can help make the best decision for you all of your dental needs.  831-457-0343

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From Dr. Peabody

I love being a dentist, and for 33 years I have tremendously enjoyed providing dental care for you as well as the relationships we’ve formed.  I have decided to retire from the private practice of dentistry so that I can spend more time with my family.

I have interviewed several quality dentists, and I am delighted that I found an outstanding dentist that I know will fit my current patients and the community of Santa Cruz.

With sincere confidence, I am happy to introduce Dr. Martha Catalina Payne. (Dr. Cat)

Please visit her website: https://santacruzdentalartists.com/
to learn more about her and schedule your next appointment with her.

I will work closely with Dr. Cat in this transition so she has a thorough understanding of each patient’s dental needs.

I am confident that you will enjoy Dr. Cat as much as I have enjoyed getting to know her. The team is also quite impressed with her, and you will continue to see them at your reserved dental care visits.

Dr. Guy Peabody DDS