If it has been a long time since you have had a professional dental cleaning or you are advancing in age, the potential that you may have gingivitis is real. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that at best causes mild irritation and bleeding. At worse, it can lead to tooth decay and other periodontal diseases. The best way to get rid of gingivitis is through prevention. It is highly preventable through good oral habits to remove the bacteria that settles at the gum line and to stave off its progression. Although gingivitis is called a “disease” there many stages of it. Some are benign if caught early while, in the later stages, it may necessitate medical attention.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis translates into inflammation of the gingiva or the gums. Even the most thorough brushers among us can succumb to this type of disease. It happens when bacteria is allowed to sit at the gum line. The build-up of bacteria or plaque is the beginning to periodontal disease. Gingivitis is marked by red and inflamed gums that most commonly bleed when you brush your teeth. The more you brush and floss, the less likely it is to be a problem for you.
It is recommended that you brush at least twice a day to prevent the formation of gingivitis or the bacteria that leads to it. If you brush twice a day, you are likely to stop the plaque before it can adhere to the teeth and gums.
The type of toothpaste that you use really is not as important as the method of brushing. Because your teeth are shaped with crevices and nooks you have to brush at different angles to ensure that you are reaching all of the plaque on your teeth. Brushing at a 45-degree angle is the best way to get at all the crevices and contours of the teeth.
It is also important that you brush the insides of your cheeks and your tongue. Although something that most people forget, your teeth are constantly touching your cheeks. They leave a residue on the teeth and the tongue. If you don’t brush the plaque from those places, and only focus on the teeth, once you finish brushing all the bacteria you leave behind on the interior of your mouth quickly contaminates the teeth.
8 Tips To Cure Gingivitis
1. Baking soda
Baking soda has long been known as a gentle abrasive that works well for removing plaque from the teeth. Long before toothpaste was developed, it was used by individuals as a toothpaste with good reason. It works to gently scrub away the plaque before it becomes a problem.
Flossing is also an excellent way of removing gingivitis from the teeth. Since most of the plaque formation is at the gum line and in between the teeth, the best way to remove it is by flossing. That gets to the places where the brush is unable to reach.
Once gingivitis is allowed to grow at the gum line, removing it or treating it, becomes more problematic. If you have noticed the signs of gingivitis like bleeding, red, or irritated gums, then you may want to try these home remedies.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil works like an antiseptic to kill the bacteria of gingivitis in your mouth. Unlike other uses for it, however, you can’t just apply it to the teeth. Due to the sensitivity of the teeth it is best to find toothpastes that contain tea tree oil instead of using it in its pure form. Many health food stores sell natural toothpastes that contain this wonderful anti-bacterial agent.
4. Vitamin D
If you are not getting enough of your daily vitamins, chances are that bacteria can accumulate more quickly than it would if you were not deficient. Vitamin D is a vitamin that is linked not only to bone health, but also to periodontal health. There is a high association between periodontal disease that is precipitated by gingivitis, and a person’s level of Vitamin D. If you want to try to cut back on gum disease, get your D. Taking a supplement may help not only improve the health of your bones, but your smile as well.
5. Vitamin C
As if Vitamin C wasn’t good enough for everything else and you needed a new reason to beef up, it may help to cut back on gingivitis. Just like Vitamin D, there is a correlation between intake of Vitamin C and periodontal disease. Remember the old story about scurvy and the sores in the mouth of sailors? Apparently it is linked to gingivitis as well.
Mouthwashes that contain antiseptics and antibacterials also do a great job at killing gingivitis before it becomes a problem. There are those who gargle with hydrogen peroxide who see the benefit. If you swish it around in the mouth once a day, you will see a significant decrease in the inflammation and redness over time. It is important, however, that you don’t swallow it. It is only to swish around at the gum line to kill bacteria.
7. Lemon juice
Lemon juice has an anti-bacterial property to it. If you want to curb gingivitis, add a teaspoon to your toothpaste and gently massage the gums. It can help to kill the bacteria that can lead to gum disease.
8. Change your toothbrush frequently
Another way to prevent gingivitis, or to ensure that it doesn’t return once treatment has initiated, is to change your toothbrush frequently. You should ideally change your toothbrush once a month, or even more frequently if you notice a problem with your gums.
If all else fails, it may be time to take a trip to the dentist. People avoid the dentist for fear or painful consequences. But, if you allow bacteria to grow and the periodontal disease to get worse, you are making the potential of the need for more extensive dental intervention more probable. The best thing to do is to see your dentist for regular cleanings to ensure that it is never allowed to become a problem.