Gingivitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

By John Meola on January 21, 2013

Gingivitis Symptoms, Causes, and TreatmentHaving teeth that are bright and healthy is a great first step to having a beautiful smile. Many people seem to neglect the health and appearance of the gums, however. Healthy gums can make all the difference between a great smile and an unhealthy one. When you meet with a skilled Boston cosmetic dentist, both the teeth and the gums will be noted when providing optimal dental care.

Right now, we'd like to look at gum disease, in particular, its earliest stage: gingivitis. By looking at gingivitis in basic terms, this should give you a good idea of what to look out for and how we can help you.

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is actually an infection of the gumline by the bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth, the same bacteria that causes tooth decay to occur.

Stages of Gum Disease

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Ideally we want to prevent gum disease from even occurring, or at the very least catch gum disease at its earliest stage. Our dental care experts in Boston and Waltham will work diligently to ensure you receive great care as soon as possible, whether it involves the gumline or the teeth.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Some of the most common symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Sore/sensitive gums
  • Discolored gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath

If caught early, gingivitis requires mostly non-invasive treatments for effective care.

Symptoms of Periodontitis and Advanced Periodontitis

Some of the most common symptoms of periodontitis and advanced periodontitis include:

  • Worsening of gingivitis symptoms
  • Tooth decay under the gumline
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth misalignment
  • Tooth loss

Periodontitis will require more invasive treatment, and possibly even oral surgery to address soft tissue and hard tissue problems.

Treating the Gum Disease Itself

When it comes to treating gum disease, the first step will be the treatment of the bacterial infection itself. For gingivitis, this will mean the use of antiseptic rinses that will eliminate the bacteria in the mouth and help restore the health of the gums in the process. For more advanced stages of gum disease, the best option will be antibiotic treatment and more invasive therapies.

Treating Dental Problems Related to Gum Disease

Once the bacterial infection is under control, we can then address the various other problems related to the gum disease. Sometimes this can be done simultaneously, though it really depends on the nature of the patient's situation. We can use various dental restorations to help address tooth decay, such as dental fillings, inlays, onlays, and Boston dental crowns. Other issues can be addressed as needed.

Restoring the Appearance of the Gumline

Since gum recession is a common problem related to gum disease, gum grafting is often used to rebuild and restore the gumline. This will involve the use of donor tissue from another part of the mouth or special artificial soft tissue grafts to help reverse the effects of gum recession.

Learn More About Cosmetic and Restorative Dental Care

For more information about gingivitis, periodontitis, and other serious dental problems, be sure to contact our Boston and Waltham cosmetic dentistry centers today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health in the process.

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