Gingivitis refers to the increased sensitivity of your gums due to inflammation, swelling, or tenderness. This condition results from the bacterial build-up around your gum line. If you are experiencing such symptoms, you may start blaming yourself for failing in the oral hygiene department. However, it is quite a common condition. Leaving it untreated, however, can lead to severe gum problems. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible without any professional intervention.
Here are some tips to help you restore your gum health.
What is gingivitis?
The bacterial buildup on your gum line can result in the formation of a layer of plaque, which is soft, sticky, and colorless film. Failing to remove the plaque can result in its hardening, leading to its conversion into tartar. Both plaque and tartar can cause gum disease.
Gum disease, during its earliest stages, is known as gingivitis. According to a study, about half of the adults in the US suffer from gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can lead to a more advanced gum disease called periodontitis. This severe condition can cause your teeth to lose hold of the surrounding tissues, making them susceptible to fall out. That is why addressing gingivitis is necessary before it turns into periodontitis.
Symptoms of gingivitis
Your best bet to catch gum disease before it becomes worse is to visit your dental professional every six months. Remember, gingivitis can develop and advance without showing any symptoms. The common symptoms associated with gingivitis are the following.
- Swelling in the gums
- Gum recession
- Puffy gums
- Gum tenderness
- Gum bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Gum changing color from pink to red
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
If you notice any of these regularities, be sure to visit your dentist as soon as you can. You can ask for an emergency appointment.
Cases and risk factors
Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gingivitis. You can reduce the risk of this inflammation by taking care of teeth and gums. Here are some other risk factors as well.
- Unhealthy diet
- Medications (gum inflammation develops as a side-effect)
- Diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and pregnancy complications
Tips to prevent gingivitis
- First off, you have to remain loyal to your oral hygiene routine. That means brushing your teeth twice and flossing at least once every day. When brushing, make sure that you are using the correct technique only. Your toothbrush should be a soft-bristled one. Be sure not to put too much pressure when brushing.
- Flossing is as crucial as brushing. It helps you clean interdental spaces where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. It will remove plaque, bacteria, and leftover food particles from those spaces. If you are not comfortable using traditional floss, you can consider using water floss.
- To keep your mouth germ-free, be sure to add mouthwash to your dental hygiene routine. However, avoid using a product with alcohol as it can prove counterproductive.
Finally, see your dentist regularly. It will help you stay on top of your oral health.