What causes gingivitis, and how is it treated?

November 1, 2015

Filed under: Preventive Dentistry — Dr. Deborah Romack @ 4:13 pm

GingivitisGingivitis occurs when plaque infects gums. Weatherford Cosmetic & Family Dentistry offers diagnosis and treatment of this threat to oral and systemic health.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease in the Weatherford area and across the United States. Often progressing to more harmful periodontitis, gingivitis can be successfully prevented and treated through good oral hygiene practices and regular dental exams and cleanings.


Dr. Deborah A. Romack and Dr. Garrett Mulkey of Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Weatherford examine their patients for signs of gum disease and offer preventive dental services and modern treatment options to stop this harmful condition. If untreated, gingivitis worsens and can destroy teeth, gums and bone and endanger overall health.

Symptoms of gingivitis

Even in its earliest stages, gum disease exhibits some typical symptoms, including:

  • gums that bleed during toothbrushing
  • bad breath
  • gum tenderness and swelling
  • gum recession or a “long in the tooth” appearance

If progressed to periodontitis, pus at the gum line, deep gum pockets, tooth mobility and loss of bone structure create a pressing need for intervention from a skilled dentist.

People of all ages and walks of live suffer from gum disease. It is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States today. However, some people seem more prone to have gingivitis than others. At risk individuals include:

  • pregnant women
  • menopausal women
  • males over 40
  • teens
  • individuals with poor oral hygiene habits
  • people with limited or no access to dental services
  • diabetics
  • immunosuppressed individuals such as cancer patients

Further effects of Weatherford gum disease

Gum disease appears linked to difficult health conditions. Periodontists, experts in the diagnosis and treatment of this oral health problem, believe gum disease plays a part in:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • pre-term labor
  • low birth weight infants
  • osteoporosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • respiratory illnesses
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

While not truly understanding the exact mechanism, dentists agree that inflammation and bacteria from infected gums play a significant role in gingivitis and periodontitis. Toxic bacteria thrive in sticky plaque and hard tartar that accumulate between teeth and underneath gums.

Weatherford gum disease treatment

Dr. Deborah A. Romack and Dr. Garrett Mulkey stress semi-annual preventive oral exams and professional cleanings at their Weatherford office.  The dentist performs routine periodontal probing to assess gum health. This simple, painless procedure measures the depth of pockets (sulcus) between gum tissue and tooth surfaces. Deep pockets indicate gum disease.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Weatherford, a skilled hygienist gently scales teeth to remove plaque and tartar. She also “deep cleans” to smooth root surfaces so gums can re-attach or grow back around teeth.

Sometimes dentists recommend replacing poorly-fitting restorations such as crowns and bridges which contribute to plaque build-up. Orthodontic treatment for crookedness or crowding straightens teeth for an easier to clean smile.

How are your gums?

It’s important to find out. So, contact Dr. Romack or Dr. Mulkey for an appointment. Get that all-important dental exam and cleaning to keep your teeth and gums–and the rest of you, too– healthy and smiling for a long time.


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