Can gingivitis become a dental emergency?

Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of periodontal disease called periodontitis.

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Gingivitis is an infection of the gums. New research has shown how untreated gum infections put a person at a greater risk for developing diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, all of which are very serious, even fatal diseases. Since gum infections are usually pain-free infections until they are too aggressive to easily treat, good daily care and professional dental exams are needed to minimize the risk.

Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which is an advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is inflammation and irreversible destruction of the tissues that support the teeth in the jaw bones. If your gums are bleeding or your teeth are becoming loose see a doctor or dentist immediately.
Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease that involves inflammation in the gums without loss of supporting attachment tissue or bone. While it is not an emergency situation, it can certainly become an urgency condition when the gums become severely inflamed, bleed readily and are very unattractive.

The usual treatment involves a thorough professional cleaning, oral hygiene instruction and follow-up care, depending on the severity of the inflammation. Good oral hygiene at home with brushing, flossing and interproximal cleaning is essential to resolve the problem and prevent recurrence.

While gingivitis is not necessarily an emergency condition, there is a form of gingivitis (Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis) that can be painful and destructive to the gingiva/gum tissue. In this case you would be aware of the problem and should seek professional care as soon as possible. Also gingivitis may at times be an indication of systemic health problems.

As always, regular dental examinations are important to maintain the health of your gums and oral health in general.

Continue Learning about Gingivitis

How can gingivitis be prevented?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease (an infection that affects the tissues and bon...
More Answers
What is menstruation gingivitis?
Menstruation gingivitis is inflammation and irritation of the gums caused by changes in the hormones...
More Answers
Can Gum Disease Affect Your Overall Health?
Can Gum Disease Affect Your Overall Health?
Sip Green Tea for Healthier Teeth
Sip Green Tea for Healthier Teeth

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.