In this day and age, most people brush their teeth pretty regularly, Maybe not after every meal or snack but with decades of education on good oral hygiene promoted diligently by dental professionals, most people get it. If you want to keep your teeth you’ve got to take care of them yourself between dental visits.
But for many people, flossing is still not getting the attention it deserves. And it is because of this neglect that people run the risk of one of the most insidious forms of oral disease, known as Gingivitis, or more commonly “Gum Disease”.
If you are one of those folks whose gums bleed once in a while when you brush, you are at serious risk for this disease.
What Is Gingivitis and what causes it?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva). It commonly occurs because of films of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth – plaque; this type is called plaque-induced gingivitis. Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.
A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth. Generally, gingivitis can improve with good oral hygiene – longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing. Regularly using an antiseptic mouthwash, along with proper brushing and flossing also helps.
Sometime as Dentists we feel like a broken record, “Floss after every meal, don’t forget now..”. Some people will heed our constant pleading, some won’t so much. But if you’ve ever seen a person with advanced gingivitis, who needs to have their teeth replaced because the gums are so diseased that they can no longer support the teeth, trust me you’d never forget to floss again!