Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
A nice and sweet simple can brighten the day of not just the person you are smiling to, but yourself, as well. But what if you cannot smile because of something wrong about your gums? It may be inflamed, swollen, or even bleeding--and you are forced to keep a shut lip. If you are getting any or all of these on your gums, it can be signs that you have gum health problems, and you may be at risk of having gingivitis.
What is gingivitis? Is it something you should be worrying about? Is it treatable, and is it something that you can prevent yourself from having? This article will teach you the basics of this gum disease--what it is, the signs of you having it, and how you can deal with it.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that usually involves inflammation or sometimes even bleeding in the gums. It is an early stage for a much worse form of gum diseases called periodontitis.
On its own, gingivitis is not as serious as you might think it is and is also not as uncommon as you might assume it is. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC says that at least 47 percent of Americans are suffering from at least one form of gum disease.
You already know the bad news--if left untreated, it can lead to worse conditions and it can also place you at risk of other complications that are not related to your gum health. The good news is that it can be treated, and the treatment is an easy process if done the right way.
What causes gingivitis?
The main cause of gingivitis is the buildup of too much plaque in the teeth. Plaque is unavoidable, as it results from all the residue of the food and drinks that we bring to our mouth. However, without proper mouth hygiene, this can build up and the bacteria and toxins that these plaque carry can cause your gums to swell, be inflamed, and if left further unattended, even bleed.
Aside from plaque, there are also other things that can cause gingivitis, including:
While you cannot avoid plaque (but can manage it), you can definitely avoid smoking. Several researches have shown that smokers are at least seven times more at risk in having severe periodontitis than non-smokers.
Poor oral hygiene
Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV can affect the immune system of the body and thus, the ability of your body to fight off plaque buildup on your teeth.
Though you may not have a chronic disease, your immune system may still be vulnerable due to stress.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
There are early signs of developing gingivitis. As the famous saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. With that in mind, here are some of the most common symptoms of gingivitis.
Our gums are red, but when you start to see that it has been unusually bright red and actually looks and peels puffier than normal, it could be a sign that there is something wrong.
Aside from redness and puffing, you might also feel soreness on your gums, and even have the urge to hit it with your toothbrush--thinking brushing can make it go away. But it won’t.
Tooth pain and tooth sensitivity
Since your gums are pulling away from your teeth at this point, your teeth can be overly sensitive to extremes such as hot and cold foods and drinks.
Bad breath can happen to anyone at any time. However, if the bad breath does not go away even with brushing, flossing, and the help of a mouthwash, it could be plaque that has already built up too much and the bacteria from it is causing the foul odor from your mouth.
If you have a damaged tooth that is supposedly already for extraction, but is not yet being extracted, the developing gap between your teeth and your gums can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup.
How can you treat gingivitis?
If you suspect that you have gingivitis, or even if you have confirmed through your dentists that you do have it, there is no need to worry or be extremely anxious about it.
The treatment for gingivitis would focus mainly on getting rid of the plaque buildup on your mouth. For that, you would need to make an appointment with your dentist. Unfortunately, once plaque has built up, professional help is already a must and doing any “home remedies” is not recommended as it may worsen the situation.
Can you prevent gingivitis?
You know the old adage: prevention is always better than cure. So, are there any steps you can take to help you prevent developing gingivitis? There are, and here are some of them.
Choose a good type of toothpaste that has properties to help fight against bacteria and plaque. It is recommended by experts to brush your teeth gently for at least two minutes for at least twice a day on a daily basis.
Replace your toothbrush every three months
Your toothbrush would get hard, worn-out, and ineffective as time goes by. Always use a brush with soft bristles so as not to hurt your teeth or gums, especially if you have sensitive ones. Oral B has a wide range of toothbrush selections that are approved and recommended by experts.
Try to lessen your sugar
Sugar is one of the top contributors for plaque in your mouth. If possible, try to lessen your intake of it, especially in the form of sweet treats.
Before you go
Taking care of your oral health is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. Gingivitis may sound bad, but when treated early and properly, it should not be something that you should worry about. Still, it is always a wise decision to consult your dentist for any concerns about your teeth and gum health.