When plaque, tartar or food gets trapped in the gingival sulcus – the space between the tooth and the gum tissue that surrounds it – gingivitis can occur. If left untreated, gingivitis can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, resulting in gingival hyperplasia, or the overgrowth of gum tissue around the teeth, increasing your risk for gum disease. Additionally, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, causing your teeth to separate from the gums. This advanced stage of gum disease can damage the bones and soft tissues that support the teeth and may eventually result in tooth loss.
Certain factors may put you at a higher risk of developing this mild form of gum disease. Here are some of the top risk factors for gingivitis:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications, such as oral contraceptives, steroids and chemotherapy
- Broken fillings
- Poorly fitted dental restorations
- Crooked teeth
First and foremost, preventing gingivitis starts at home with good oral hygiene habits. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. In addition, you should attend regular checkups with your dentist to remove any and all plaque buildup. Other ways to prevent gingivitis include eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding cigarettes and chewing tobacco and managing conditions that can lead to gum disease.
If you’re concerned about gingivitis, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Benjamin Klayman and his team at Red Bank Smiles. Call us at 732-741-1052 to book your checkup.