Red and sore gums? These might be the signs of gingivitis setting in. Don’t ignore the signs as gingivitis can turn into a much bigger problem if left untreated. Gingivitis is a common problem and most adults will experience it in varying degrees at some point in their lives. The good news is that it is easily treated with brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups – if caught during it’s early stages.
Neglecting your oral health causes a build of bacteria called plaque to form over and around your teeth. This damages tooth enamel as it releases acid and causes decay. Plaque that isn’t removed will harden into tartar and forms along the gum line. This tartar is what will aggravate your gums and lead to gingivitis.
Common symptoms of Gingivitis
• Gums are red, swollen or purple in colour when they should be a healthy pink tone.
• Your gums may bleed when you brush which you will notice when you rinse out your mouth.
• Your gums are sore and hurt when touched.
Do you think you have gingivitis?
Take these steps to begin reversing the process.
• Brush your teeth regularly – this means in the morning, after every meal and before bed
• Floss at least twice a day to remove plaque and food build up from between your teeth.
• Mouthwash can aid in the battle against oral bacteria. Look for a bottle that is labeled as ‘anti-gingivitis or antiseptic’
Don’t skip professional cleanings at your dentist. The given 6 month check-ups/cleanings are there for a reason. During these sessions your dentist will scrape and remove any tartar buildup before it begins to affect your gums and gum line.
If you already have gingivitis, a professional dental hygienist cleaning should have your gums feeling and looking better within a couple weeks.
Preventing Gingivitis in the first place
• Brush your teeth at least twice per day
• Floss your teeth every day. You can also use picks, small brushes, waterpik devices or other interdental cleaners if you don’t like to use floss.
• Rinse your mouth regularly – this removes bacteria and flushes food particles away before they can collect in the tight spaces between your teeth.
• Get regular dental check-ups – every 6 months is the recommended practice.
• Watch what you eat – oral bacteria thrive on sugary foods and starches found in many foods. The bacteria grows, releases acid and damages your teeth as well as your gums. IF you do eat sweets or starchy foods – brush and rinse after eating.
• If you’re a smoker – consider quitting. Tobacco smoke can lead to serious gum disease and eventually tooth loss.
As with most things, prevention in the best way to make sure that you stay gingivitis and gum disease free. Visit our website to get more helpful tips and tricks on how to combat oral disease or to schedule an appointment with one of our professional Toronto dentists. Visit Martindale Dental TODAY!