Gingivitis is the very beginning stage of gum disease. In this stage, the gums are slightly inflamed and perhaps even bleed a little bit during brushing and flossing. Healthy gums do not normally bleed. If you see any bleeding at all upon brushing and flossing, there is a strong possibility that you are seeing the beginning stages of this disease. However, it is even possible that you are well beyond this stage.
You must be careful not to think that you are home free if your gums do not bleed. It is possible to have this problem and not see any bleeding. Typically, a periodontist is your best bet to treat this type of problem. Periodontists are dentists who have 2 years of additional training and focus specifically on treating periodontal disease.
You should be aware that this problem is very common. Studies have shown that regular dentists are not always fully focusing on this problem when they see their patients. This is understandable because the general dentist is more focused on the task of discovery problems with teeth and fixing them.
This lack of focus can be problematic for the patient however, because gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, bar none. What this means is that when adults lose teeth, there is a strong possibility that it happened due to this dental disease running unchecked.
An additional problem is that regular brushing and flossing are not necessarily enough to stop or prevent this disease from taking hold. The proof is in the statistics. Ask any dental professional and they will tell you that up to 75% of the population has some form of gingival disease in their mouth right now. Again, most are not aware when they do have it.
The damage accumulates over a period of time, sometimes over many years. The unsuspecting victim has no clue until they start to see the signs of damage such as receded gum tissue, loose teeth or they have been told they need surgery or a ‘deep cleaning’ treatment. Sometimes patients undergo these procedures and still do not understand that they have gum disease!
Next: Learn what you can do to prevent this problem or to stop it if it has already started to happen to you!
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Disclaimer: This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not intend to render advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or think you might have gum disease or any other health problem, visit your periodontist or physician for advice, diagnosis and treatment. The USFDA has not evaluated statements about products in this article.