Do we have any treatments for gingivitis? Negatory … not at this time. How do patients get these bacteria in the first place? They missed a spot with their toothbrush, floss, or toothpick. The best gingivitis “treatments” we can offer for patients are instructions for meticulous home care and device recommendations, instead of just saying: “You need to brush more.”
We should consider gingivitis the line in the sand beyond which no patient will step. Failure to intervene at this point will result in some patients progressing to periodontitis, which is incurable and condemns one to a lifetime of disease management.
Do we know which patients will progress to periodontitis and which ones will not? Again, negatory. So, bleeding on probing is extremely important because it’s a wake-up call that gives the patient an opportunity to avoid a chronic, incurable disease that has effects far beyond the oral cavity. We just have to heed the sign and turn the patient around at this point to better health.