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Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Closed on Friday
during the Summer.

Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


 

Gingivitis. Most of us have heard the word thanks to those Listerine commercials that have run on the airwaves forever. It sounds scary — perfect for a copywriter to write about. But what is this mysterious thing you call gingivitis and why do I care?

Dr. Egger isn’t scared of gingivitis, but he wants you to be, at least a little bit.

What is gingivitis?

Yeah, it sounds pretty much life and death, but gingivitis is actually nothing more than gum inflammation. Plaque is the main irritant of your gums. Plaque is the film that forms on the teeth throughout the day consisting of bacteria, bacterial waste products, food residue, and saliva. When you brush and floss you remove the plaque. Then it starts to rebuild, only to be removed again when you brush. Think Groundhog Day. If you get sloppy with your home dental care the plaque can develop beneath the gumline, where it is very irritating to your gums. If allowed to stay there, the plaque hardens into tartar, causing more persistent irritation. While the term “irritation” sounds innocent enough, if this irritation is allowed to continue and progress, it leads to gum disease, clinically known as periodontitis.

How does gingivitis show itself?

Gum irritation is easy to spot. Your gums should be like a flamingo in the Everglades, nice and pink. Any bright red patches show irritation. Your gums should also pretend they’re a halibut and lie flat…against the teeth; inflamed gums tend to recede and pull away from the teeth. Your gums will also be prone to bleeding and this shouldn’t normally happen if you’re using a soft toothbrush. Bleeding is a sign of inflammation. And finally, as in the commercials, your breath will reek. The commercials get this part right — your bad breath is caused by bacteria that is being left to its own devices by your poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis treatments

To keep your gums healthy and keep gingivitis at bay, it all starts with good home hygiene. Beyond that, these are the treatments:

  • Prophylactic cleaning

Twice-yearly cleanings with Dr. Egger and our team are the first step. Why twice a year? That generally is the time it takes to start forming tartar and other issues that lead to decay. During these cleanings and checkups, not only will those problem areas receive a thorough cleaning, but we will also point them out to you for more attentive care at home.

  • Scaling

If you have a fair amount of tartar built up under your gumline, it can only be removed with dental tools. This is called scaling.

  • Root planing

In root planing, tiny grooves or pits are removed from the tooth roots to make it easier for the gums to adhere and stop receding.

So, don’t be a victim of advertising. You can fight gingivitis without calling some mouthwash to rescue you! If you wonder if your gums are hating life, call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 and let’s talk.