Boise Dentists Blog

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What Is Gingivitis?

What Is Gingivitis?

You’ve heard a lot about gum disease from our Boise dentists and others, but what is it really? We’ll answer a few questions below.

So, What Is Gingivitis?

The simple definition of gingivitis is “inflammation of the gums.” It is the first stage of gum disease. If left untreated, it can become the more serious gum disease, periodontitis.

How Is Gum Disease Like Gingivitis Caused?

The most common reason a patient gets gingivitis is from dental plaque. Dental plaque is the bacteria that coat your teeth which you brush away when you brush and floss. Without regular brushing and flossing, this plaque will build up and eat away at your teeth enamel and can begin to irritate and inflame your gum tissue as well.

There are a few other things that can increase your chance of getting gingivitis, and those include changes in hormones, smoking, or different medications.

What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis Gum Disease?

Image via Flickr by AJC1

If you have gingivitis, your gums may be red or purple and sensitive to the touch. They may also bleed easily when brushed or flossed. They may also be swollen or receding, making your teeth look longer.

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

Since gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, it is fairly easy to treat. The first step after diagnosis is a thorough Boise teeth cleaning by your dentist to get rid of the plaque causing the inflammation. Once that is done, the best way to continue treatment is through daily caring for gums by you, the patient, when you are at home. This includes regular, twice-daily brushing and flossing. You may also consider getting an electric toothbrush since they tend to do a better job than a regular toothbrush. Our Boise dentists may also suggest follow-up appointments to make sure that the inflammation has gone down.

What are your other questions about what is gingivitis? Call up our Boise dentists, or stop in our Boise dental office!