Do you have red, inflamed gums? Is a certain area of your gums sore to touch? You may have gingivitis. It’s really not that scary, and here- we’ve already answered some of your questions for you.
What is Gingivitis ?
Gingivitis is nothing but infection of the gums. Bleeding gums indicate gum infections. You may have experienced bleeding gums even if you are using a soft toothbrush or you may feel your gums appear swollen or puffy and even give a vague pain. These may the very early signs of gum infections. Gingivitis if left untreated can spread to the surrounding tissues and cause periodontitis (infections of the gums as well as the bone).
How does it happen?
- Plaque is the culprit- A thin white soft layer of plaque tends to accumulate on the teeth surface whether you eat anything or not. This layer of plaque contains hundreds of species of good and bad bacteria and food debris which over a period of time start irritating your gums. If left uncleaned this layer of plaque becomes harder and turns into calculus, which cannot be removed with regular brushing and only a dentist or dental hygienist can help you get rid of it with a teeth cleaning procedure.
Combined with other factors, plaque can fast-track its way to gum disease. These factors range from hormonal imbalances to malnutrition, or some specific medication.
- Infections- Gum infections can also caused by some bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Certain genetic conditions or other diseases can make one more prone to developing gingivitis.
Where does it occur?
Gingivitis need not necessarily affect all your gums. It can be associated with only one tooth, or the gum space between two teeth, or an even the entire area of your upper or lower, front area or back area of the gums. For example, if you leave more plaque at the back of your mouth than on your front teeth, only that part of your gums will end up inflamed.
What should I look for?
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms of gingivitis, go visit your dentist as soon as you can-
- An intense red, or bluish-red colour of the gums
- Bleeding gums when you use your toothbrush or floss
- Soreness in the gums, or slight pain when you touch
- Persistent bad mouth odour
- Swollen gums
I think I have gingivitis. What do I do?
This is easy. Just visit a dentist and your dentist will clean your teeth professionally with the help of a scaler. This scaler instrument comes in various types, but most dentists use an ultrasound one that has a high-speed jet of water to free your teeth off the plaque, calculus and even stains. You may experience bleeding from your gums, but there’s nothing to worry. Your dentist will also prescribe you a mouthwash. Incase you feel your teeth have become more sensitive let your dentist know. Your dentist will prescribe you a sensitivity toothpaste or a gel for 1-2 weeks.
Gingivitis is a curable condition that can easily turn into a more serious disease called periodontitis, which can eventually lead to loss of teeth. Make sure you stay ahead!
At home, you can start with saltwater gargles. Saltwater calms inflamed gums and can relieve pain by reducing the bacterial load.
What can I do to prevent this?
Preventing gingivitis is very easy. Here is all you have to do
1.Brush your teeth twice a day using the right technique.
3.Smoking is a major factor that causes gingivitis.
4.Try to avoid consumption of any tobacco products.
5. Reach out for floss picks instead of toothpicks.
6. Apart from this, do call on your dentist every 6 months. Don’t believe any myths about teeth cleaning. Scaling (teeth cleaning) is absolutely safe and getting it done every 6 months or at least once a year is the key to having healthy gums.
7. You can also try oil pulling. Studies show oil pulling is effective in preventing gum infections and tooth decay.
Gingivitis can easily recur if you don’t keep your mouth clean. Make sure you have a proper oral hygiene routine down pat!
Remember healthy gums pave way for healthy teeth !