Gingivitis is usually indicated by the presence of red, swollen gums that easily bleed during regular brushing or flossing. Many patients are surprised to learn that gingivitis is actually the first stage of gum disease. Luckily, gingivitis is highly treatable and reversible.
Gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene. In milder cases, gingivitis can effectively be treated with a professional dental cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits at home. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing them at least once a day in order to practice proper oral hygiene. You will also want to continue seeing the dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning.
If a regular cleaning and improved oral hygiene are not enough to treat the gingivitis, then a scaling and root planing procedure is usually the next step. Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure, but it is a little more intensive than a routine cleaning. Scaling is when the dentist scrapes away the plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. Root planing is when the dentist removes the hard bacteria deposits from the root of your tooth. This procedure encourages the gums to reattach to the teeth.
Hopefully that answers any questions you may have about how to treat gingivitis most effectively. If you suspect that you may be suffering from gingivitis, contact our periodontists in Los Angeles to schedule a consultation.