Gingivitis is the first form of gum disease, and it’s true that it’s not quite as serious as periodontitis. However, gum disease is a progressive condition, so you absolutely should treat gingivitis as seriously as any other dental health problem. When you first notice early signs like a little blood when you brush your teeth and redness around the teeth, act immediately to reverse the problem while it’s still gingivitis.
Act Without Delay
Talk to your dentist as soon as you notice the first signs of gingivitis. By ignoring it, you’re allowing bacteria to become colonized in the space between your gums and your teeth. These bacteria are very destructive and will make large pockets around your teeth, down to the roots, as they spread and multiply. Loosening the gum tissue away from the tooth damages the root and eventually kills the tooth. Acting quickly stops this cycle before any damage is done to the gums or teeth.
Commit to a Daily Routine
No matter what your dentist wants to do in the office to clean under the gums and kill the bacteria, it’s all for nothing if you don’t keep up your end of the daily oral hygiene routine. Gingivitis comes from tartar forming at the edges of the teeth and hardening into plaque, which acts as a bridge to the space below the gum line. Brushing twice a daily and flossing once a day is essential for both preventing and reversing gingivitis. No amount of treatment from your dentist can compare to the power of improving your daily routine. Aside from what you’re doing daily, make a promise to yourself to visit for dental cleanings every six months no matter how much you’d rather skip the chore. Cleanings remove any tartar that is turning to plaque and gives the dentist a chance to catch early warning signs of hundreds of serious health problems, dental and otherwise.
Get Help from the Dentist
Follow the recommendations of the dentist even if they’re unpleasant. For example, a deep cleaning under the gum line causes a little residual soreness, but it also removes bacteria colonies and plaque in a way no amount of brushing and using medicated mouthwashes can accomplish. There are a handful of well-tested and proven techniques for managing gum disease, so it doesn’t progress and threaten the teeth, so take all treatments seriously and don’t skip them due to anxiety. Talk to your dentist about sedation options instead.
Change Your Diet
Finally, avoiding candy, sticky foods, and other sources of dental tartar can make a big difference in how fast you recover from gum disease. Reducing the amount of sugar in your mouth helps starve out the bacteria trying to colonize your gums. If you must enjoy your sweetened coffee or have a slice of cake after dinner, either brush or rinse your mouth out immediately to remove both lingering food particles and sugars. Don’t brush more than three times a day to avoid damage to the teeth and irritation of the gums which slows down your gingivitis recovery.