What You Should Know about Gingivitis

gingivitisYou have probably heard many times about gingivitis and may be familiar that the disease refers to the inflammation of the gums. However, you may not be aware that gingivitis has a habit of lingering in the body by disrupting its immune system response. According to your Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, if gingivitis is not managed carefully, it can easily progress into periodontitis, a more damaging form of gum disease. What makes gingivitis linger is the fact that the presence of gingivitis-causing bacteria in the body, trigger the production of anti-inflammatory molecules called IL-10. These molecules, in turn, interfere with the body’s bacteria-fighting T-cells, allowing gingivitis to stick around.

The Dangers of Periodontitis

When gum disease progresses to an advanced stage, pockets may develop between teeth and the gums. These pockets are usually teeming with bacteria that attack the ligaments and tissues supporting teeth. It is important to remove these bacteria through periodontal cleanings, because if they are allowed to continue their assault on vital, teeth-supporting structures, teeth will loosen and may eventually be lost altogether.

However, the danger created by gum disease stretches beyond the scope of the mouth. A patient with gum disease is at an increased risk for certain cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Patients should, therefore, make every effort to prevent gum disease and respond promptly if they notice any of the following symptoms: red gums, swollen or sore gums, gums that bleed easily, loose teeth, shifting teeth, the development of pockets between teeth and the gums, and lingering bad breath.

Preventing Gum Disease

In order to prevent gum disease, you should concentrate on thoroughly cleansing your teeth. Brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and floss at least once. It may also be a good idea to angle the bristles of your toothbrush toward the gum line to remove plaque from this important area. Finally, be sure to attend regular dental cleanings with your Polk City dentist, Dr. Hussong, which will allow for the removal of tartar, a substance that a toothbrush and floss cannot eliminate from teeth.

About Cornerstone Dental: At Cornerstone Dental, Dr. Ryan Hussong has made it a priority to ensure his patients’ comfort. He enjoys working with patients of all ages and forming relationships with families in the Polk City area. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling (515) 984-6001.