Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue around your teeth due to a buildup of plaque and tartar caused by bacteria. It can result in tooth decay, cavities, and worse if left untreated for too long.
If you already know you have gingivitis, and you’re seeking out treatments and cures, Flintlock Dental will discuss those options below. If you’re unsure whether or not you have gingivitis but think you might, it’s best to make an appointment with your dentist so that you can get the correct diagnosis and best treatment suggestions for your situation.
It’s always best to seek a professional opinion when you’re looking into treatments, but until you can get in to see your dentist, there are a few things you can do to help treat gingivitis on your own. It’s possible for gingivitis to be prevented, as well as existing gum disease to be reversed. This is all possible with good oral hygiene and a little help from your dentist.
How to Reverse Gingivitis
There are a few steps that need to happen for gingivitis to be reversed, depending on the severity of the case. The first step is to eliminate the tartar that’s causing the irritation in your gums. Your dentist can do this by cleaning and scaling your teeth.
Once you have this professional cleaning, you need to help prevent the tartar from building up so much on your teeth and gums by brushing twice daily with a tarter-control toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. Following up your brushing with an antimicrobial mouthwash is also a good way to keep your mouth healthy and smelling great.
If you keep up with regular brushing and flossing, you should have healthy gums again in no time!
Treating Gingivitis from Home
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to help treat and prevent gingivitis from home:
Use antibacterial toothpaste. This type of toothpaste can be used to fight plaque all day and night after you have done your daily oral hygiene routine. Along with this type of toothpaste, there are also anti-gingivitis toothpastes that target the gingivitis-causing tarter found around your gum line.
Brush your teeth more effectively. When you brush your teeth day and night, make sure you are brushing for 2 minutes each time. You can also consider an electric toothbrush that can help give you a more thorough cleaning than your manual toothbrush. To help you meet that 2 minute mark for brushing, go ahead and set a timer on your phone until you get into the habit of brushing for that long.
Find an antibacterial mouthwash. After you have brushed your teeth, it’s a good idea to follow up with a mouthwash to get rid of anything your brushing may have missed. Find a good antibacterial mouthwash to help flush out the plaque- and tarter-causing microbes that are hiding in those hard-to-reach places.
Floss daily. This is something that many of us often forget to do, but it’s very important your oral health. Flossing is a great tool for helping prevent and treat gingivitis. Flossing will remove food particles that can help feed the bacteria in your mouth that your toothbrush and mouthwash can easily miss.
Ways to Improve Brushing and Flossing
To get the most out of your oral hygiene, here are a few ways to improve your brushing and flossing skills:
Brushing. As you are brushing your teeth, be sure to hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. Brush your teeth using short, circular strokes, and make sure you are not using too much pressure while you brush. Do not forget to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Also keep in mind that you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush, so as not to wear away too much on your gums.
Flossing. Start by using about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Next you should wind a small piece around the middle finger of your other hand. Make sure to unwind fresh floss from your fingers as you move from tooth to tooth. Slide the floss all the way up and down each side between each tooth, while curving in into a C-shape at the gum line. This will allow the floss to slide between the teeth and the gums easier.
If after you have taken all of these steps and you are still experiencing symptoms of gingivitis, you will want to call your dentist to set up either an initial appointment or follow-up. Making sure you have good oral hygiene at home by taking the time to brush, rinse, and floss, as well as going in for annual checkups and cleanings with your dentist, can greatly lessen your chance of developing gingivitis and other gum diseases.
If you want more information on oral health, check out Flintlock Dental’s other blogs, such as this one that goes over enamel loss and repair.