Gingivitis is an infection of the gums caused by plaque buildup on the teeth. This plaque then causes the gums to become infected and swollen. Gingivitis is often caused by poor oral hygiene, but there are a number of factors that can contribute to this problem, such as smoking, blood disease, alcohol and drug abuse, sugar intake and a lack of vitamin C. If neglected, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis and the erosion of the teeth. In fact, untreated gingivitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
The good news is that gingivitis is completely reversible and if caught early enough it won’t present much of an oral hygiene issue. So with that in mind here are some practical ways to stave off gingivitis and ensure great oral health.
SCHEDULE A TEETH CLEANING
Since gingivitis is caused by plaque, a professional needs to clean the teeth of this substance above and below the gum line. A good teeth cleaning should remove all bacteria and tarter, allowing for the healing process to begin. To ensure plaque and tartar stay off the teeth, it’s recommended to schedule regular dentist visits twice a year.
For many people flossing is unpleasant but it is absolutely necessary when combating gingivitis. Those serious about healthy gums need to floss once daily, starting with the top teeth and going from front to back. It’s then recommended to brush after flossing to clear the teeth of all the debris that was dislodged during the flossing process.
BRUSH TWICE DAILY
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. It’s also recommended that people brush after meals, of course, this isn’t always practical. Those who aren’t able to brush after meals should chew sugarless gum in order to stimulate saliva production in the mouth, which naturally kills oral bacteria. It’s also recommended that people change their toothbrush every three months.
USE MOUTHWASH REGULARLY
Antiseptic mouthwash is a great way to kill bacteria and prevent plaque buildup on the teeth. It’s also very effective at preventing as well as getting rid of gingivitis. Of course mouthwash should always be used in conjunction with brushing and flossing and should never be used as a substitute for either. It also shouldn’t be used as a substitute for regular teeth cleanings, as mouthwash cannot remove plaque that has already been built up on the teeth.
This is crucial in maintaining good oral health (as well as good overall health) and reversing gingivitis. A healthy body will play a big part in helping to rid the gums of gingivitis. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will provide vitamins like C, A and E, which are vital in healing gums. And the minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium are vital to maintaining strong teeth. And it goes without saying that those who are serious about reversing gingivitis and maintaining proper oral health should avoid as much junk food as possible.
These are just a few easy tips to reversing and staving off gingivitis. And while gingivitis is almost always of person’s own doing, some people are simply predisposed to this particular infection of the gums. That’s why the importance of proper overall health can’t be understated as far as gingivitis is concerned. Leading a healthy lifestyle as well as maintaining great oral hygiene will ensure anyone can beat gingivitis.
Pic: Pattyanne from flickr creative common