Gingivitis is a common type of gum disease, which causes a mild irritation, inflammation and swelling of the gums. Since gingivitis is only a mild condition, most people are not aware of having it. However, prompt treatment is necessary as it can result in more severe gum diseases and tooth loss as well.
Gingivitis is commonly caused due to poor oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene and regular dentist checkups are important if you want to prevent gingivitis. Make sure to brush and floss daily.
Dental Health : How to Cure Gum Disease
Signs and symptoms
If your gums are firm and pale pink, they are healthy. However, if they are red, puffy and bleed easily, your gums are unhealthy and you may also have gingivitis. Since gingivitis is rarely painful, you may not realize you have it.
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Tender, puffy gums
- Receding gums
- Gums bleed easily, particularly when you brush or floss – your toothbrush or floss may be pink or red after brushing
- Change in color of the gums from pink to red
- Bad breath
When to seek medical attention
It is important that you see a dentist regularly for oral checkups. This will help identify cavities, gingivitis and other dental problems before they become more severe. See your dentist if you have any signs and symptoms of gingivitis. The sooner you treat the condition, the more likely you are to prevent it from causing further problems.
Self-care treatments are primarily needed to treat gingivitis and other mild dental conditions. You can follow these steps if you notice any signs of gingivitis:
- Get your teeth and gums checked regularly by a dentist. Regular professional cleanings are also recommended to prevent dental problems.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every three months
- Use an electric toothbrush if you are prone to plaque, tartar or other dental problems
- Brush your teeth twice daily, and after every meal to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth
- Floss daily to remove food lodged in the teeth
- Consider using an antiseptic mouthwash if your dentist recommends it
- Consider using an interdental cleaner, for example a dental pick or dental stick, which is particularly designed to clean the areas between your teeth
- Avoid relying on tartar-control toothpastes to substitute flossing and brushing on a daily basis
If you receive professional care for gingivitis, follow-up home treatment may include:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice on a daily basis
- Use of an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one to brush teeth more effectively
- Flossing at least twice a day
- Using antiseptic mouth wash as recommended if your dentist recommends its use