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5 Key Signs You Have Gingivitis

Your gum health is one thing you definitely can’t afford to ignore, writes Dr. Stephen Dunstone. 


‘Gingivitis’ is a popular term. Many people hear it when they visit the dental office and it’s also found on packaging and advertisements for dental products. Gingivitis might not sound all that important, but getting it is the first step towards major gum health problems.

What is Gingivitis?

Dental plaque left on teeth for more than a couple days will start to irritate the gum tissue. In response to the bacteria and debris found in plaque, your gums will start an inflammatory process. White blood cells and other germ-fighting agents rush to the scene. Blood vessels in gum tissue expand to increase access for these immune response fighters.

As a result, your gums will gradually start to swell. This inflammation is called gingivitis.

Left unchecked, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a far more serious infection which threatens your teeth and jawbone. Being alert to the hallmark signs of gingivitis will help you take action to reverse the inflammation before it’s too late.

Here are the key signs to watch out for:

1. Red Gums

A classic signal of inflammation or infection is redness. Your gums will probably take on a darker hue because of the increased blood circulation in the area. Healthy gums are usually coral pink if they aren’t pigmented with melanin. When gums turn berry-red, that’s a sign they’re not happy.

2. Bleeding While Flossing or Brushing

Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT normal to see pink in the sink when you brush or floss! Healthy gums are not bothered by gentle brushing and flossing. Inflamed gum tissue that’s loaded with extra blood will bleed at the slightest provocation.

3. Puffy Rolled Edges

Do your gums seem to be creeping up your teeth in an attempt to cover them? Once again, the inflammation will bring an increase of fluids to your gums, making the tissues swell and grow.

4. Sore or Sensitive Gums

Inflamed tissues can be very tender. Sore gums will discourage you from brushing, but that will only make the problem worse. Seek expert dental help if your gums start hurting.

5. Bad Breath

All that nasty plaque buildup gives off a foul odour. If you’re not brushing as much as you should be, not only will your gums suffer, but your breath will betray your lack of good oral hygiene. One way to treat bad breath is to get treatment for a gum infection like gingivitis.

You can prevent gingivitis with a diligent oral hygiene routine and lots of vitamin C (strawberries are a great source!). You’ll also need dental checkups to ensure that your gums are healthy.

Schedule a visit at South Beach Dental for a complete oral health evaluation. Contact us or call today on 08 8384 4872.