Diagnosing and Treating Gingivitis
There are two important factors that contribute to a patient’s overall oral health; the health and strength of the teeth, and the health and strength of the gums. Each is equally important in maintaining good oral health because the health of one affects the health of the other. Decay in the teeth can lead to periodontal problems and gum disease could eventually lead to tooth loss. That is why Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Bruce Wilderman takes gingivitis treatment very seriously. By diagnosing and treating gum disease in its initial stage of gingivitis, Dr. Wilderman can restore the health of the gums and prevent damage to the teeth.
Symptoms and Causes of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the term used to describe the initial stage of periodontal (or gum) disease. Gingivitis is caused by the presence of plaque and tartar at the base of the teeth. The bacteria that cause plaque and tartar also produces toxins that irritate the gums and lead to gingivitis. It is important for patients to recognize the symptoms of gingivitis so they know when to seek dental treatment. Dr. Wilderman can diagnose gingivitis at a scheduled bi-annual dental exam, but if a patient is experiencing any of the following symptoms of gingivitis, an exam should be scheduled as soon as possible so that treatment can begin. The most common signs of gingivitis include:
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Gums that bleed easily even when being brushed very gently
- Gums that appear shiny and/or bright red in appearance
- Gums that are swollen
When these symptoms are present, Dr. Wilderman can perform a thorough oral exam to determine the extent of gingivitis and determine the best treatment plan.
Because gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, Dr. Wilderman can usually treat the inflammation of the gums through one of the following non-invasive approaches.
- Dental cleaning: A thorough cleaning will be required to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth. If the plaque has extended beneath the gum line, a cleaning technique known as scaling and planing will be performed. This will allow Dr. Wilderman to clean the exposed surface of the teeth as well as the tooth beneath the gum. If gingivitis is a reoccurring problem for patients, Dr. Wilderman will likely recommend that regular cleanings be scheduled up to four times a year.
- Antibacterial rinse: When there is an excessive amount of bacteria present, Dr. Wilderman may use an antibacterial rinse during the cleaning. Some patients will be asked to continue to use the antibacterial rinse at home to ensure that the mouth has been rid of the harmful bacteria.
- Restorative treatments: If a patient is experiencing gingivitis, it is likely that the teeth will be damaged by the amount of plaque and tartar as well. Necessary restorative work will be performed to strengthen the teeth. For our patients in Philadelphia, dental crowns are one restorative treatment option for repairing teeth with extensive decay.
Schedule an Appointment
It is always best to diagnose and treat a dental problem right at the start. If you have experienced any of the symptoms of gingivitis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Wilderman so you can receive treatment before the problem worsens. Gingivitis is a condition that can be easily treated under the skilled care of Dr. Wilderman.