Gingivitis – what is it?

We often forget as Dentists that our patients (and most people actually…) do not always understand the jargon we use, which consists mainly of medical terms, which are second nature to us – but maybe not to you!

‘Gingivitis’ is one of those words. We must remind ourselves that if we stood by the remembrance monument and asked 1000 people the question, “What is gingivitis?” Not many would know and those who did would probably either have gingivitis or be members of a dental team.

So... what is it then?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. This can be recognised by the gums being red, some blood when brushing your teeth and tenderness. Gingivitis affects what we call the ‘gingiva’ which is the part of the gum around the base of your teeth.

Can gingivitis be treated?

YES! Gingivitis is completely treatable by qualified dental professionals and in most cases, we can stop it in it’s tracks before it becomes something more serious – more on that below.

It is essential that you see the Newton Abbot Dental team on a regular basis, so we can help prevent gingivitis from occurring in the first place. The team will advise you how often it is recommended that you come in and will often work in partnership with a Dental Hygienist to achieve this.

What can I do at home, to help stop me developing gingivitis?

The key thing we can all be in control of, is our home care routines. Some top tips from our expert team are:

  1. Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice per day avoiding food and drink for at least 20 minutes afterwards.
  2. Do not wet your toothbrush or rinse your mouth after brushing as doing this washes away the…
  3. .. FLUORIDE! Use toothpaste with 450 parts per million (PPM) of fluoride in it.
  4. Use an electric toothbrush, as this more effectively cleans between your teeth and those hard-to-reach areas.
  5. Use floss or interdental brushes as recommended by your Dentist or Hygienist.
  6. Try and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
  7. Quit smoking.

Also remember, that mouthwash is not an acceptable substitute for brushing your teeth and only use mouthwash, if your Dentist or Hygienist recommends that you do so.

Will the Dental team keep an eye out for Gingivitis?

YES! This is something our Dentists and Hygienists keep an eye out for at every visit. They will carefully assess your gums for signs of disease and take immediate action if they find any. They will also always talk to you about those all-important home care routines as mentioned above.

What happens if gingivitis goes untreated?

If gingivitis is left untreated, ‘periodontitis’ may develop. Although we can essentially ‘cure’ gingivitis, periodontitis is not currently curable, only manageable – we can try and stop it getting worse. We are very lucky in that our expert and experienced team are experienced in and trained to treat periodontitis, so you could not be in better hands than at Wistaria Dental.

If there are any concerns over your gum health – the team are only here to help, coach, support and advise you in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

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