If not promptly resolved, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, which is a more serious form of gum disease. What causes gingivitis and is there a way to stop it from progressing?
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis—also known as gum inflammation—is the first stage of gum disease. If it progresses, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis and eventually to tooth loss.
Gingivitis can be corrected at home without any special treatments, but proper oral hygiene must be observed in order to reverse the disease.
What causes gingivitis?
Gingivitis occurs when plaque collects around the gum line and irritates the gums, causing the tissue to become inflamed.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
Here are a few symptoms associated with gingivitis:
How can you avoid gingivitis?
This first stage of gum disease can be prevented or reversed through regular oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, such as those listed below:
Brush and floss daily.
Brush twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritating gums that are already inflamed by the gingivitis.
In addition, floss daily with woven floss. It is softer than traditional string floss, and due to its mutli-strand construction, it may collect more plaque and food particles than its counterparts.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, increase the risk of gum disease due to the tissue inflammation it causes. In addition, tobacco products may cause oral cancer.
Watch your diet.
Avoid sugary and sticky foods which can increase the amount of plaque on your teeth. Food mixes with oral bacteria to form plaque, and the simple carbohydrates in junk food are regularly consumed by oral bacteria, causing the microbes to release more gum-inflaming acid. If you want to enjoy sweets, be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards with water to remove the sugary residue.
Be sure to see your dentist every six months.
During dental visits, as your dentist scrapes tartar accumulations from the teeth, he or she is also removing a hiding place for plaque and bacteria. The porous tartar can collect debris and bacteria along the gum line to promote gum disease.
To learn more about gingivitis and how it can be avoided, schedule a visit with a dentist in your area.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!