On the Internet, it’s easy to get confused. Between kids eating bottles of ketchup and Tide pods, it would be easy to assume anything remotely like the word ginger would be related to red-haired people. After all, there are many facetious videos questioning whether or not “Gingers have souls.”
Just don’t lump gingivitis in with that stuff and pay it no mind. Gingivitis deserves your full attention, and hopefully not the full attention of the team at Gentle Dental.
What is gingivitis?
You have to admit that “gingivitis” is a scary sounding word. So, what does it really mean?
That’s not so bad. But it could be if you ignore it. You see gingivitis is the first step down the path toward gum disease. It’s as if your gums are telling you, “Hey, pay attention to me up here holding your teeth in place.” Your gums should be pink and happy, not unlike a wad of Double Bubble gum in color. They should be firm and they should not bleed easily.
When your gums are more red than pink they are irritated. They are likely to bleed a bit when you brush and floss. These are the signs of gingivitis. But this isn’t a one-way street to gum hell. All you need to do at this point is brush a little more diligently and floss (yes, you remember how to floss, right?). With the added attention your gums will shape right up and return to their happy, pink selves.
However, if you choose to ignore your irritated gums, your gingivitis will move onto full-blown gum disease. Here’s what will happen. First, what has been irritating your gums is that plaque, and probably tartar, have been making their way up under the gums. When this is just plaque, you can still get it out of there. Once it hardens onto the teeth into tartar, then you’ll need the pros at Gentle Dental to do a little gum scaling, where we go under the gums and scrape away the tartar.
If not interrupted at this point, the tartar will move up higher under the gums and the gums will begin to pull away from the teeth. Pockets will form where this has happened and they will act as little bacteria hot tubs. They will settle in and create more bacteria, which creates issues with tooth decay and even possible infection. Next, the teeth will begin to loosen because the gums have given up their support duties.
You can see where this is headed — full-blown tooth loss and either a toothless future or a future with dentures.
The team at Gentle Dental implores you not to go there. So, if your gums have become red instead of pink. If they’re bleeding when you brush and floss. If this is the situation, it’s time to call us at Gentle Dental, (732) 549-5660. We can stop the progression of your gum issues.