Gingivitis is a common medical condition that dentists often diagnose each day. If that’s a diagnosis you’ve recently received, the news isn’t all bad. Did you know that there are plenty of practical ways you can fight back against gingivitis?
It’s important to remember that gingivitis is reversible. That means you can take actionable steps to restore your gums to their former healthy selves. Here is what you need to know about gingivitis and the steps you can take to reverse it:
What is Gingivitis?
Gum disease is an umbrella term that includes all kinds of specific issues. One of them is gingivitis, a mild form of bacterial infection of your gum tissue. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more severe form of gum disease. In those cases, you could end up with periodontal disease or “periodontitis.”
In a nutshell, gingivitis occurs because there is a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. It’s important to note that it’s not an overnight thing that happens. It is a medical condition where bacteria builds up over a period.
For most people, a regular oral hygiene regime will prevent gingivitis from occurring. When you stop taking care of your teeth, bacteria will start to build up in your mouth. The bacteria get stronger by feeding on small bits of food that stay in your mouth after eating.
If bacteria doesn’t get removed on a regular basis, your teeth start to have a build-up of plaque and tartar. In case you didn’t know, plaque is a sticky yellow substance. It forms due to a reaction between the bacteria and saliva in your mouth.
Over time, plaque can calcify and turn into tartar. When that happens, only a dentist can remove it.
What are the Signs of Gingivitis?
It’s quite easy to spot the symptoms of gingivitis. The most common ones are as follows:
Bleeding gums, usually after brushing your teeth;
Constant bad breath;
Receding gum lines;
Loose and wobbling teeth;
Changes to the way your teeth “bite” and how they sit together.
If you suspect that you’ve got gingivitis, it’s crucial to have a proper diagnosis done by a dentist. That’s because, in some cases, you could have already developed periodontitis.
How to Reverse Gingivitis
Now you know about gingivitis, what it does and how to spot it. But, how do you reverse it? The good news is there are several simple and actionable steps you can take.
The first is to ensure you have regular visits to your dentist. That way, you can take action on any dental problems before things get out of hand. It also means you are less likely to need any dental work including surgery.
The next step is to set up a good oral hygiene regime at home. Brushing your teeth each day is an important task. If possible, you should do so after each meal. But, brushing just twice a day (once in the morning and again before bed) is a good start. Consider using an electric toothbrush with an oscillating head for the best results.
Next, you need to make sure you get rid of food particles stuck between your teeth. You can do that by flossing. Last, but not least, rinse your mouth out with mouthwash to get rid of any remaining bacteria.