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Highmoor-Dental gingivitis plaque and gum disease treatment in Edmonton


Plaque, Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Do you have swollen, tender, or bleeding gums?

If so, you could have gingivitis.

But don’t worry—we’re here to help!

To help you understand the potential complications and make an informed choice on your treatment options, we’ll go over:


  • The initial stage of gum disease that precedes periodontitis
  • Caused by plaque and hormonal changes such as puberty


  • Bits of bacteria, food, and acid that cling to your teeth
  • Commonly found on back molars, gum line, and fillings
  • Forms 20 minutes after eating
  • Hardens in tartar, which is much harder to remove

Gum disease:

  • The result of infections and inflammation of the gum and bones that surround the teeth
  • Found in 47.2% of adults aged 30 and older
  • Becomes more serious when gingivitis develops into periodontitis
  • Can lead to other conditions like diabetes and heart disease
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Tooth decay:

  • Caused by the same bacteria responsible for gingivitis
  • The second most common disorder in the world
  • Breaks down the enamel covering your teeth and creates cavities
  • May lead to the infection and destruction of the inner tooth

Gingivitis symptoms:

  • Receding gums – when gums pull away from the tooth, making them appear longer than before
  • Bleeding gums – bleeding caused by buildups of plaque at the gum line
  • Swollen gums – when the point of attachment between your teeth and gums become infected
  • Inflamed gums – your body’s response to collections of plaque in the teeth
  • Sore gums – pain and sensitivity caused by inflammation
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pockets of pus
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together

Gingivitis treatments:

  • Brush and floss your teeth, use mouthwash, and regularly visit a dental professional to prevent and reverse gingivitis
  • More serious treatments may require scaling and root planning, regenerative procedures, and root canals

What is Gingivitis?

Have you noticed inflamed gums around the base of your teeth?

It could be gingivitis—a mild form of gum disease.

If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more severe stage of gum disease.

While the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that puberty and hormonal changes can provoke gingivitis, the most common cause is poor oral hygiene, as it leads to excessive build-ups of plaque.


Bits of bacteria, food, acid and saliva combine into a sticky substance known as plaque that clings to your teeth.

Some structures in your mouth are particularly vulnerable to plaque build-up, such as:

  • Back molars
  • Above the gum line
  • Edges of fillings

It’s essential to consistently remove plaque through brushing and flossing because it forms quickly:

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it only takes 20 minutes for plaque to build up after eating.

If the plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar, which can’t be removed by brushing and flossing.

Health Canada relates that since tartar has a rough surface, it irritates gum tissue and accumulates more plaque at a faster rate, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines gum disease, or periodontal disease, as the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround the teeth.

And it’s extremely widespread:

The CDC notes that 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.

When gingivitis goes untreated, and plaque spreads beneath the gum line, it develops into periodontitis—the more severe form of gum disease.

highmoor dental get rid of gum disease edmonton

With periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces full of infection.

While periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss, research has shown that it can even lead to diabetes or heart disease.

Ultimately, the CDC warns that the biggest threats to your dental health are gum disease and tooth decay.

Tooth Decay

The same bacteria that irritates and inflames the gums can also damage your teeth.

This damage is known as tooth decay—the second most common disorder, next to the cold.

Tooth decay can break down the enamel covering your teeth and create holes in the tooth, or cavities. Typically, cavities don’t hurt unless they grow large enough to disturb nerves or fracture the tooth.

In the most pressing cases, tooth decay can lead to infection and the destruction of the inner tooth, requiring treatments like root canals or extraction.

Given these adverse outcomes, it’s important to keep an eye out for any potential symptoms.

Gingivitis Symptoms

Think you could have gingivitis?

The American Academy of Periodontology lists symptoms of gingivitis to watch for, such as:

  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus in your gums
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together

Sometimes gingivitis can be present without showing any symptoms at all, so regular dental checkups are essential.

However, the most prominent symptoms of gingivitis are:

  • Receding gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Inflamed gums
  • Sore gums

Receding Gums

One of the most common gingivitis symptoms is receding gums—when your gums pull away from the teeth, causing them to look longer than they were before.

Receding gums comes with its own symptoms as well, such as:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain
  • Infection

Watch out for these warning signs since receding gums can expose the roots of teeth, increasing your risk of decay, infection, and even tooth loss.

Bleeding Gums

Do your gums bleed while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food?

Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis as well as more advanced iterations of gum disease.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that the primary cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gum line.

You can manage mild cases of bleeding gums by maintaining a thorough oral hygiene routine.

Swollen Gums

Are you gums looking puffy or swollen?

When gingivitis develops, the point of attachment between your teeth and gums becomes infected, resulting in gums that appear larger than normal.

Inflamed Gums

The American Academy of Oral Medicine notes that gum inflammation is your body’s response to collections of plaque in the teeth. The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more likely they will irritate and inflame your gums.

Typically, this symptom is a direct result of poor oral hygiene and can be reversed with thorough brushing and flossing to remove the plaque and irritants from your teeth.

Sore Gums

Do your gums feel sensitive or painful to the touch?

Whether it’s mild or severe pain, sore gums can be indicative of gingivitis and other forms of gum disease.

In gingivitis, soreness is the result of inflammation and swelling.

Gingivitis Treatment

At this point, you may be thinking:

“How can I get rid of gingivitis?”

Fortunately, you can reverse gingivitis fairly easily.

The American Academy of Periodontology recommends these steps to prevent and reverse gingivitis:

  • Regularly brushing your teeth
  • Flossing
  • Swishing with mouthwash
  • Seeing a dental professional
Highmoor Dental gingivitis treatments and prevention Edmonton

Seeing a dental professional may be necessary to remove any deposits of tartar that you will not be able to do yourself.

More serious cases of gum disease may require treatments such as:

  • Scaling and root planing – a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from any spaces in your gums
  • Regenerative procedures – treatments that reverse gum disease damage by restoring the lost bone and tissue that support your teeth
  • Root canals – If tooth decay destroys the inside of your tooth, it may be necessary to remove the dead material to prevent further infection

Book a Consultation

Want your gingivitis to go away?

We can remove your plaque and tartar to cure your gingivitis and stop it from developing into a more serious form of gum disease or tooth decay.

If you notice gingivitis symptoms such as receding, bleeding, swollen, inflamed, or sore gums, make sure to brush, floss, use mouthwash and get in touch with a dental professional—especially if you require more intensive treatments.

Highmoor Dental offers free consultations—book one now by calling (780) 425-1646.

Do you have questions about gingivitis?


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