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What is Gingivitis?

Before you dive into understanding the different stages of Gingivitis, you may be left wondering what Gingivitis is. Gingivitis is an often-occurring and mild variant of periodontal disease, leading to inflammation, irritation, redness, and swelling of the gingiva, i.e., the gum base around your teeth. Prompt treatment of gingivitis is crucial and should be taken seriously. So ultimately, this disease causes your gums to swell which can lead to painful gums that often bleed during brushing as well as flossing.

How Many Stages are There?

Failure to treat gingivitis can result in the development of periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss and long-term health problems. Gum disease can be classified into four stages: gingivitis, early periodontitis, moderate periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. While these stages have long names, often in order to simplify the finding of gingivitis, also commonly referred to as gum disease, your dentist may refer to their finding as “stage 1” and so on, with stage 4 being the most serious of the stages.

How is Gingivitis Treated?

The good news is that in most cases, and with proper dental care, you can reverse the damage and inflammation caused by gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss and chronic health conditions. The most common reasons that gingivitis may be present in your mouth are due to a lack of dental care/cleaning or due to a large amount of plaque buildup. Luckily this can be treated by both a dental professional as well as at home.

To reduce plaque buildup between your teeth, consider incorporating a mouth rinse into your oral hygiene routine. In addition to brushing and flossing, using an interdental cleaner like a dental pick, interdental brush, or dental stick designed for cleaning between teeth can also be helpful. It’s important to schedule regular professional dental cleanings as recommended by your dentist.

While flossing and brushing are recommended by all dentists, the extra-special care needed to help reverse the inflammation caused by gingivitis can often be more in-depth and require a little more attention than a quick brush before bed. When gum disease is present in your mouth, while being aggressive to remove the bacteria and plaque may seem like the right thing to do, you need to remember that the pain and inflammation need to be handled with care. Often using a soft-bristled toothbrush can still be painful, so take your time to slowly and gently brush each tooth, flossing slowly to help lower the risk of the floss “popping” in and out of your teeth.

For more information on gingivitis, gum disease, as well as other dental-related issues, please feel free to contact our office at any time to schedule an appointment.

Learn More about Gum Disease Treatment with Pioneer Dental Group in Oregon City, Oregon.