The idea of caring for your smile and preventing issues from threatening it can seem abstract sometimes, especially if you don’t have any existing concerns to worry about. The problem is that not all oral health concerns are obvious at first. Even when they do exhibit warning signs, they can often seem minor and are easy to ignore until they become much more severe. Such is often the case with patients who have gingivitis, an infection in your gums caused by excessive oral bacteria buildup. The condition might seem minor at first, but when it’s ignored long enough, it can progress into much more severe gum disease.
Gingivitis develops in your gum tissues, and many of the earliest signs of it involve the appearance of these tissues. For example, when oral bacteria first work their way underneath your gums, the toxins and substances they produce can irritate the tissues, making them red and inflamed. At first, this may not cause any physical discomfort. If you aren’t diligent about checking your gums every time you brush and floss your teeth, you may be more likely to miss the fact that their appearance is changing. Before long, however, the appearance of your gums can change more dramatically, becoming darker and more irritated as gum disease becomes more severe.
If you don’t pay attention when you brush and floss your teeth, you can miss more than just the changing appearance of your gum tissues. When gingivitis infects your gums enough, the damage it causes can also cause the tissues to bleed occasionally, such as when pressure is applied to them. This can be most common when you pass your toothbrush and floss over them, and there may be spots of blood mixed in with your saliva and toothpaste. If you do notice this, then you should speak with your dentist about your possibility of having gingivitis, and what you should do to protect your smile from further harm.
As gum disease progresses, it erodes the health and integrity of your gum tissues, which serve several important purposes. One of these is protecting the roots of your teeth from harmful oral bacteria. Unlike your teeth crowns, roots aren’t protected by enamel, and rely on the cover provided by your gums to stop bacteria from infecting them. Gum disease can cause these tissues to recede from your teeth roots, leaving them exposed to bacteria buildup that threatens the health of the tooth and makes your gum disease progress faster. Gum recession uncovers more of your tooth structure, which can make them seem longer than they used to, and can be a warning that your gum disease has become more severe than you might realize.
Protecting your smile from gum disease starts by preventing or treating the formation of gingivitis – the first stage of the disease. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.