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Dec 19

Westminster Periodontal Care at Arbor Dental Group

138513212_c278aab099At Arbor Dental Group, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional periodontal care. Periodontal care is essential for optimal oral health, and is becoming increasingly linked with systemic health (for instance, cardiovascular health).

While periodontal care is critical, we find not all patients fully understand its role. Many view oral health as a matter of tooth-brushing– case closed. In reality, the health of your gums is just as important as your pearly whites, and in the interest of increasing our patients’ understanding, we’d like to use this blog post and talk about one of the most common issues in gum health that we see everyday: gingivitis.

The english language and your health

“-itis” is a suffix used in the medical world referring to inflammation– pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchii. But don’t be confused if you’ve heard this term used differently; outside of its technical meaning, –itis is commonly utilized to refer to any ailment whatsoever and often for comedic effect: “work-itis,” “parent-itis,” etc.

So gingivitis? Inflammation of the gingiva— or gums.

The key word is inflammation

First, a patient experiences a small lapse in their ordinarily exemplary oral care: he or she runs up against a deadline at work and feels too busy to brush, or a new baby disrupts the normal household routines and flossing falls out the window– basically, there is a lack of dental hygiene for whatever reason.

When this occurs, bacteria clinging to the teeth along the gumline start to irritate the gum tissue. This most frequently happens between teeth, in areas harder to reach without flossing and partially out of site as well. Our bodies respond to this type of irritation by creating an inflammatory response, characterized by the four classic signs first documented by Romans in the 1st century AD: calor, dolor, rubor, and tumor, AKA heat, pain, redness, and swelling.

Signs and symptoms

This inflammation is what causes the outward signs and symptoms that a patient or a dentist will notice when gingivitis is present. Presentations vary from patient to patient, but often include one or more of the following:

  • Dark red in color
  • Pain and/or bleeding
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Swelling

We’re here to help you get “back on your feet”

If you notice bleeding with flossing, or that your gums are a darker color, this is a clear sign that your oral care is in need of attention from Arbor Dental Group, your source for Westminster periodontal care. Our team is highly trained in addressing all different stages of periodontal disease as well as providing our patients with the solid foundation of preventive care that will ward off recurrences of periodontal problems.

And that’s what’s so “great” about gingivitis: it is both preventable and treatable with excellent oral hygiene. Our knowledgeable staff helps patients create their oral hygiene schedule and suggests additional treatments, like fluoride rinses, to treat mild stages of gum disease and prevent others.

If you have any other questions about gingivitis, please don’t hesitate to speak with one of our friendly team members. Call or click here for your next appointment; we look forward to seeing you!

Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc

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