Keeping your regular six-month cleaning and dental exam appointments is an essential part of good oral health as dental professionals remove plaque and tartar at each visit. However, without an effective oral health routine at home that includes twice daily brushing and daily flossing, there’s a higher risk of developing gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease, including the first level of gingivitis, can develop quickly—even between six-month cleanings.
When bacteria in the mouth develop to the point of revealing obvious damage to oral tissues, this is known as gingivitis. Signs of damage include bad breath and tender and bleeding gums during brushing. If the oral bacteria are allowed to continue reproducing, gingivitis develops into periodontal/gum disease. During periodontal disease, oral bacteria reproduce so quickly; they damage gum tissues at a destructive level higher than seen during gingivitis.
Fortunately, it’s possible to reverse gingivitis before it develops into gum disease and doing so prevents the need for more expensive and time-consuming dental treatments. At the first sign of gingivitis, patients who haven’t been following a good oral health routine need to start doing so immediately. By brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, flossing daily, using an oral rinse and brushing the tongue, patients remove embedded bacteria and improve their oral health. Additional ways to reverse gingivitis is to increase water intake as a moist mouth supports the cleaning properties of saliva. Limiting snacks and minimizing intake of sugary foods and drink can also stop and reverse gingivitis.
Maintaining an oral health regimen
When patients start and maintain a regular oral health regimen, the symptoms of gingivitis should diminish within a week. Even when symptoms subside, it’s vital to continue to maintain oral health as it controls bacterial buildup and prevents gingivitis from returning. Regular dental visits and cleanings give patients a clean slate twice a year that they can take advantage of with continued daily brushing and floss to prevent problems.
Once patients have established an oral hygiene routine and commit themselves to following it, they discover that it’s worth the effort with the numerous benefits it provides their oral health. Early treatment and reversal of gingivitis prevent the development of gum disease that doesn’t go away on its own. If you’re experiencing any of the signs of gingivitis, contact Dupont Dental to schedule an appointment to help restore and maintain the health of your teeth and gums.