Treating Gingivitis

All You Need to Know about Treating Gingivitis

Dental health is an important issue and treating gingivitis is one of the most common issues people face.  In fact, it is estimated that around 50% of the population has this disease on one or more of their teeth.

So what is gingivitis?  It is a periodontal disease, and although it is one of the lesser of the possible dental diseases, it can create serious issues.  It is almost always caused through poor or inadequate dental hygiene; mainly the buildup of plaque on teeth.  Plaque is basically a mix of bacteria and various sugars that develops in every mouth.  Fueled by the foods we eat and the beverages we drink, plaque grows quickly when left unchecked.  While it is invisible to the untrained eye, plaque adheres to teeth like a film where it begins to insidiously attack the enamel of the teeth.  Eventually, the enamel begins to break down; leaving the tooth vulnerable to attack that can result in the formation of cavities.

When accumulations of plaque develop on teeth, the teeth are at risk of incurring periodontal diseases such as gingivitis.  Symptoms of gingivitis include swollen gums, reddened gums, bleeding gums and sensitive or tender gums.  Many people who experience one or more of these symptoms don’t even consider them as anything serious; since rarely is pain one of the symptoms, often the individual doesn’t even know they have the disease.  Left untreated, however, this disease which is common and easy to treat can lead to more serious issues that may include heart disease.

Treating gingivitis can be easily handled, either by a dental professional or by the individual at home.  Regular visits to the dentist is always recommended, where a thorough cleaning can be performed which will remove the damaging plaque.  The cleaning will include a process called “scaling”; a special sharply pointed tool is used to scrape the tartar and plaque from both the crown and around the root of each tooth.  Learning how to properly clean the teeth on a daily basis will also be covered at the visit; a beneficial tool to avoid further buildup of the materials.  Making these dental visits a regularly scheduled event will lessen the chance that the accumulation will become severe and create any serious, more advanced issues.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to remove the inevitable plaque and to prevent it from accumulating on the teeth.  It takes dedication and continuous vigilance to dental hygiene.  As mentioned, the first step is to faithfully schedule regular dental visits.  Even at home, gingivitis can be kept at bay by meticulous tooth care.   A soft toothbrush that is replaced every three to four months should be used to clean teeth; an even better alternative is to use an electric toothbrush that may provide a more thorough cleaning.  A good rule of thumb is to clean the teeth after each meal when possible.  Flossing well in between teeth and around the base of the tooth under the gum covering will ensure that bacteria are removed from these favorite breeding areas.  Dental picks are great tools for effective cleaning in between teeth; typically a tight area that is hard for the bristles of the toothbrush to reach.  Finish by rinsing the mouth with a product that is designed to reduce plaque.

Prevention of the disease is a much more desired course of action than treating gingivitis.  Keep in mind that plaque and tartar naturally forms in every mouth; however, those who practice the best and most thorough dental hygiene will be rewarded with a fresh, healthy mouth.