While gum disease is a serious issue, it’s often hard to notice at first. The condition’s early signs don’t always stand out much. However, things seem to be looking up. Engineers recently found a way to test for gingivitis at home. With this method, patients could seek treatment before the disease worsens. Of course, your Wethersfield dentist will outline the matter. Here’s a primer on gingivitis, its new at-home test, and how dentistry treats it.
Context: What’s Gingivitis?
Put simply, gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease. It occurs when plaque and bacteria inflame your gums. (Said plaque and bacteria usually stem from poor oral hygiene.)
Usually, the symptoms of gingivitis are mild. They include things like bad breath, swollen gums, gum tenderness, etc. As a result, many people can easily ignore or overlook them. This oversight leads to more severe gum disease.
You see, untreated gingivitis won’t just go away. It’ll worsen and become periodontitis – a full-blown tissue infection. At this stage of gum disease, a patient starts to lose the bone around their teeth. They’ll then be at serious risk of tooth loss and other dental problems.
How Could You Test for It at Home?
Luckily enough, a scientific breakthrough looks like it’ll improve gum health. A home test for gingivitis was made not long ago.
It all started with some engineers at the University of Cincinnati. In September of last year, these researchers devised a way to detect gingivitis. Namely, they thought to use a saliva sample to look for endotoxins. The latter are toxins made by bacteria that cause gingivitis.
Of course, this cutting-edge testing could have far-reaching effects. It’d let patients notice their gum disease sooner than they would otherwise. From there, people could get care before periodontitis starts. The result would be healthy gums that haven’t worn down.
How Does Dentistry Treat It?
Naturally, you can trust dentistry to treat gingivitis. The field has many effective procedures for it.
Aside from routine oral care, the best approach is scaling and root planing. This treatment amounts to a deep dental cleaning. For the first portion (scaling), the dentist removes tartar and bacteria from under your gums. The next phase (root planing) smooths the surfaces of your tooth roots. In doing so, it discourages further buildup of tartar and bacteria.
Hopefully, the test for gingivitis at home will soon arrive. Until then, though, remember to see your dentist often!
About the Practice
Dolan Dental is based in Wethersfield, CT. Led by the great Drs. Thomas and Brendan, our practice strives to give every patient stellar smiles. We thus offer preventive, cosmetic, and restorative work, as well as emergency oral care. Our office doesn’t neglect healthy gums, either, as we also provide quality periodontal therapy. For more details or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (860)-529-2000.