Gingivitis

Houston Oral Healthcare Specialists

Lewis C. Cummings, DDS, MS

Periodontist located in Kingwood, TX

Gingivitis is the leading cause of tooth loss and can significantly contribute to both acute and chronic health conditions if left untreated. Lewis C. Cummings, DDS, MS, is an experienced periodontist with a practice in Kingwood, Texas. He specializes in the treatment of conditions such as gingivitis, which can lead to severe periodontal disease and bone loss. For a complete evaluation of your gums and oral health, call or book an appointment online.

Gingivitis Q & A

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, which serve to protect the roots of the teeth and secure teeth inside the jawbone. Gingivitis causes the gums to become inflamed and red, and to bleed easily. It may not be painful and is reversible if caught and treated early.

If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, which causes infection at the roots of the teeth and leads to tooth and bone loss. Advanced gingivitis causes the gums to pull away from the roots of the teeth. This gum recession creates deep pockets at the gumline where bacteria and infection can develop, causing the progression to periodontal disease.

Gingivitis is linked to some chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Inflammation of the gums and advanced infection can affect not only your oral health, but your overall health as well.

What are symptoms of gingivitis?

You may not realize that you have gingivitis at first. Many don’t catch on until a dental professional points it out. But, with close attention to your oral health, you may note symptoms such as:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tenderness when brushing
  • Gums appearing to shrink
  • Teeth appearing longer
  • Increased space between teeth
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing

More advanced symptoms may include loose teeth or sores in your mouth. You may notice your bite is different, or that your dentures are not fitting that same as before.

What are risk factors for gingivitis?

The greatest risk factor for gingivitis is inadequate oral hygiene. Effective oral care and regular dental visits can decrease this risk factor and even reverse early signs of gingivitis.

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Substance abuse
  • Teeth grinding
  • Use of some medications
  • Pregnancy

Dr. Cummings takes important steps to both identify your risk factors and also treat any signs of gingivitis. He also offers a range of treatments that may help to reverse advanced signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

What treatments are available for gingivitis?

Dr. Cummings offers minimally invasive treatments for the early stages of gingivitis. These treatments include oral care counseling, regular dental visits, and dental cleanings to remove plaque and bacteria that could cause periodontitis.

If you have advanced gingivitis, which has developed into periodontal disease and caused severe gum recession or bone loss, he offers advanced techniques, such as:

  • Gum graft surgery
  • Bone graft surgery
  • Surgical periodontal pocket reduction
  • Nonsurgical periodontal pocket reduction, or root planing and scaling

He also offers other advanced methods to regenerate lost bone and tissue, including the application of specialized membranes or tissue-stimulating proteins.

For a consultation and evaluation regarding your gingivitis, call or book an appointment online with Lewis C. Cummings, DDS, MS.