Gum disease, it’s a term we’ve all heard of but how many of us know what it really is?  It’s common knowledge that this condition results most commonly from poor dental hygiene, but it can also be the result of other health conditions as well.  All that being said many people don’t know exactly what gum disease is, making it difficult for them to identify when they might need to make a visit to their dentist to have it looked after. Dr. Tabb at Bethesda Family Dentistry will help you identify when you have this condition and how to treat it, but there are some tips you can use to identify it yourself.

What Is Gingivitis and How Does One Get It?
Gingivitis is a form of gum-disease that, while non-destructive, is the first step on the road to the more serious Periodontitis, a disease capable of making you lose teeth.  Gingivitis is an infection of the gums that results from poor dental hygiene and can be treated by improving your oral health regime. There are actually two types of gingivitis.

   • Gingival Disease Caused by Dental Plaque: In spite of the name, it can actually be the result of malnutrition, plaque, medications, and other systemic factors.
   • Gingival Lesions: This form of Gingivitis is caused by a fungal, viral, or bacterial infection most commonly. They can also be the result of systemic conditions, dentures, wounds, and allergic reactions.

These two terms encompass all varieties of gingivitis.  In addition to the factors listed above, there are other risk factors that can play a role in getting this condition.

What Risk Factors Increase My Chance Of Getting Gingivitis?
While poor oral hygiene is the factor that contributes to this condition the most, it’s far from being the only one.  Major changes in your bodies hormones from pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, menopause, and puberty are all contributors.  If you are on any form of hormone treatment be certain to tell your dentist so that they are aware of these additional factors.  Certain diseases, including HIV, Cancer, and Diabetes have also been correlated with higher instances of gingivitis, as well as certain forms of drug treatment for these and other conditions.  Other commonly attributed factors are family history, poor diet, smoking, and age, all of which are correlated with increased instances of gingivitis in patients.

What Kind Of Symptoms May Reveal That I Have Gingivitis?
Signs that may indicate you’re experiencing a case of gingivitis can include gums that are purple or bright red, are bloated to the touch or bleed from flossing.  You may also experience halitosis and inflammation of the gums, or gums that are soft or receding. If you’re experiencing these symptoms make a call to Bethesda Family Dentistry and set up an appointment with Dr. Deborah Tabb for diagnosis and treatment plans.  You want to catch your gingivitis before it becomes a full-blown case of periodontitis and begins doing potentially irreparable damage to your beautiful smile, and the family at Bethesda Family Dentistry is there to help you do it.

Dr. Deborah TabbPatients at Bethesda Family Dentistry benefit from the knowledge and experience that only comes from a diverse team. From general dentistry to endodontic, periodontics, and cosmetic dental services, this Bethesda, MD clinic is ready to be the only source you need for all your oral health needs.