Gingivitis is one of the most common gum diseases that occur in the human mouth. The condition is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance everyone has in their mouths.
Plaque attaches itself to the teeth. If it is not removed from the teeth, plaque can cause the gums around the teeth to become inflamed. This inflammation is called gingivitis. When gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to a worse infection called periodontitis. This infection can result in tooth loss.
What are the risk factors for developing gingivitis?
Some groups of people are more likely to get gingivitis than others. This includes people who smoke, people with diabetes, and those who take certain medications that prevent the body’s ability to fight off an infection.
People who have crooked teeth, cracked or broken fillings, implants or poorly fitting dentures are also at risk. A suppressed immune system during pregnancy or in HIV/AIDS patients also puts these categories of people at a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
What can be done to prevent gingivitis?
Good oral and dental hygiene is essential to prevent the onset of gingivitis. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and annual teeth cleaning can prevent gingivitis. Replacing a toothbrush on a regular basis and avoiding harsh mouthwash products are also ways to prevent the condition.
What to do once gingivitis sets in
Although prevention is always better than cure, the disease may develop despite one’s best efforts. Should this happen, there are home treatments to try while the gingivitis is still in its infancy.
- Increase the intake of prebiotics and probiotics. They occur naturally in sauerkraut and unsweetened Greek yogurt. These help to fight off an infection.
- Rinsing the mouth with a saltwater solution kills off any bacteria that could cause an infection.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories. They are found in fatty fish such as salmon, butter, and beef from grass-fed cattle.
- Consume antioxidants which combat inflammation. These antioxidants are found in significant quantities in berries and dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach.
- Turmeric, garlic, and ginger are easy to incorporate into the diet and are great anti-inflammatories.
When is it time to see the dentist for gingivitis?
Trying to treat an advanced case of gingivitis at home will not necessarily work. The condition may by that stage be too severe. When the home remedies don’t make an appreciable difference, a visit to the dentist is necessary. Pain and bleeding in the gums as well as bad breath are signs that gingivitis needs dental intervention.
What will the dentist do to treat my gingivitis?
Celebrity dentist Dr. Mobasser says that a thorough tooth cleaning by a dentist should clear the gingivitis up. However, it will recur if the patient does not improve their diet and dental hygiene habits.
Seeing a dentist before the gingivitis causes periodontitis can save patients a lot of unnecessary discomfort and expense. If you suspect you have gingivitis, call (310) 550-0383 to make an appointment to see Dr. Mobasser.