Here's Why You Should Never Underestimate Gingivitis

Posted on: 26 May 2021

Gingivitis is an inflammatory response to the bacterial biofilm that can accumulate on teeth. For many people, this common type of bacterial infection is minor and fleeting and will often go away without assistance. That assistance is always beneficial though since a professional dental cleaning (scaling and polishing) is the best way to rid your mouth of gingivitis. A general dentist can easily handle minor to moderate cases of the condition, but if it has escalated, you might be referred to a specialist. 

Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis

Severe gingivitis will not go away by itself. It's simply beyond your body's ability to banish the plaque that has developed on your teeth and the subsequent bacterial infection of your gingival tissues. People with an extreme form of gingivitis known as acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) require more urgent intervention.

Rapid Onset

While your gingivitis might have been developing for quite some time (which conceivably could be several years, depending on your last dental checkup), the discomfort associated with ANUG can develop rather rapidly, meaning that this is the first instance when you've attempted to seek treatment for your gingivitis. However, due to the seriousness of ANUG, you may be referred straight to a periodontist.

Specialist Care

A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in treating infections that can develop in the tissues around your teeth, as well as the bone anchoring your teeth. This infection has the potential to become very serious. Since ANUG can spread to these sites, specialist care is essential to prevent tooth loss, although some tissue deterioration will likely have already begun.

Treating ANUG

One of the most efficient ways in which a periodontist will treat ANUG is with the removal of dead or dying gingival tissue. This needs to happen quickly to prevent further deterioration. The removal of this dead tissue, in conjunction with some powerful antibiotics, should be sufficient to halt your ANUG. You will often then be referred back to your general dentist where any other complications (such as loose or otherwise damaged teeth) will be addressed if needed.

Regular trips to your dentist for scaling and polishing are an effective way to keep gingivitis at bay, which in turn keeps ANUG from developing. However, when your gingivitis has gotten out of control, be ready to see a periodontist for prompt action which can save your teeth (while sparing you a great deal of discomfort).

If you think you need help with gingivitis, reach out to a local periodontist.