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The First Signs of Gingivitis

dental exams DallasGingivitis is the first step toward gum disease. Patients that see our dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and dental exam are being proactive in their oral health. But correct dental care involves more than just showing up for your dental appointment.

Brushing – The right instrument and technique are important. A soft bristle tooth brush or electronic brush coupled with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel is recommended. An electronic tooth brush will help to control the pressure used to brush, and since most come with a timer they encourage the patient to brush the recommended two minutes. Brushing should be completed at least twice every day.

Flossing – Dental floss, floss picks, water picks … there are a variety of products available to help remove debris your tooth brush does not reach. Flossing daily will keep gum tissue stimulated and help to keep plaque growth minimized.

Just because you are doing all the things suggested here does not mean you’re protected from gum disease. Even the most diligent patient can suffer from some type of periodontal problem. Watch for these issues, and get to our dentist if they are present:

Bleeding gums – This is a very visible sign a problem may be imminent. Gums should be firm and pink … red, swollen, bleeding gums require a dental exam.

Chronic bad breath – When you eat aromatic foods or consume strong beverages, you might get bad breath. Brushing teeth, using an oral rinse, or sucking on a breath mint is a temporary solution; however, when bad breath is consistent, this may be an indicator of infection. Our dentist should be consulted.

Loose teeth – When gum tissue appears to be shrinking away from teeth or teeth feel loose, this means your gum disease has possibly advanced from gingivitis to periodontitis. This is serious as tooth loss may be next. The bone holding your teeth in place is in jeopardy so treatment is needed.

It is important to understand that gum disease does not need to impact your entire mouth. One or a couple of teeth may be more susceptible to problems, so just because all your teeth aren’t involved does not mean you’re free from gingivitis.

Once gingivitis advances to periodontitis, this condition is not curable; however, it is manageable. Our dentist can be very instrumental in your oral care to prevent gum disease.

Call 214-343-1818 and set up your next appointment with our caring and skilled dental team.