How to Get Rid of Gingivitis
Who among us hasn’t told that little white lie to the dentist? You know the one I am referring to; your answer to the dentist’s question about how often you floss. However, bleeding gums are much more than a sign that you are not flossing enough. Gingivitis is a gum disease. If it is left untreated, it can lead to a more severe illness called periodontitis and tooth loss. So if your gums are red, irritated and swollen, it may be gingivitis. Read on to learn how to get rid of gingivitis and other gum diseases.
Gingivitis and Other Gum Diseases: What to Watch For
Many highly effective treatments for gingivitis can be done at home with everyday household items. Home remedies typically involve treating the affected gum with a cleansing, soothing rinse. It’s so important to address the issue of gingivitis as soon as it is detected so that the disease does not progress. Curing or reversing the signs and damage caused by gingivitis is possible, but you must act quickly.
Watch for puffy, swollen gums that bleed easily when you are brushing. Other concerning signs are dark red gums that are receding or pulling back from the tooth. If your gums are tender and you notice that your breath is less than inviting, these are also signs of gingivitis.
Treat Your Gums Right: Brushing
Excellent oral hygiene habits are essential to avoiding gingivitis and treating this sometimes painful condition. Thoroughly brush at least twice daily, including thorough (but gentle) flossing.
Rinse and Repeat: Mouthwash
There are several effective types of mouthwash and oral rinses on the market that can freshen your breath and act as another tool in your toolkit in fighting gum disease. Warm water mixed with a bit of salt to create salt water can be used as an effective treatment against gingivitis, but it will not cure this disease. However, saltwater rinses may remove plaque and bacteria, making your mouth healthier. A saltwater rinse will also soothe your sore gums and reduce any pain that you might be experiencing. I prefer using warm water in my salt water rinses as it is gentler than using cold water.
When shopping for a mouthwash or oral rinse, look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval; this seal will give you confidence in knowing that the product has been tested and proven safe and effective. The American Dental Association states that there are two main types of mouthwashes, so consider which product might be best for you:
Therapeutic mouthwashes have active ingredients that kill bacteria and can reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Those that contain fluoride help prevent or reduce tooth decay.
Cosmetic mouthwashes may temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave your mouth with a pleasant taste but don’t reduce your risk of cavities or gum disease.
You may have heard of using lemon water as a treatment for gingivitis, but there is currently conflicting information on this front. Proponents suggest that lemon water offers anti-inflammatory properties and Vitamin C. In addition, lemon water is recommended to remove plaque and act as a microbial property that kills the bacteria that cause gum disease. On the other hand, it is suggested that lemon water weakens tooth enamel and irritates the gums. Ask your dentist if lemon water is the proper treatment for your teeth.
Get Regular Checkups: Annual Cleanings
Also, regular annual visits to your dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings are vital to keeping your gums pink and healthy. Having a professional thoroughly inspect your teeth, gums and mouth can prevent and treat more serious oral health issues.
Early intervention is critical, as it is possible to cure gingivitis if it is treated early and well. Consider seeing your dentist first to determine the cause of your gingivitis, as other health conditions may be at play. If you are a smoker, you may want to quit as, among other serious health issues, smoking can cause gingivitis. Once your teeth have been professionally cleaned and assessed, you can become consistent in your new oral health habits.
The American Dental Association offers guidance on preventing and treating gingivitis and recommends regular dental checkups. When brushing, use quality toothpaste containing fluoride, and remember to brush thoroughly after each meal and snack time. Healthy and balanced nutrition will also support your gum health. Flossing is a must, as it will remove debris from between your teeth that a toothbrush simply cannot reach.
While it depends on the severity of your gingivitis, your dentist may prescribe a mouth rinse to treat it. Examples of prescription mouth rinses include chlorhexidine. The Mayo Clinic explains that chlorhexidine treats gingivitis by reducing inflammation and swelling, easing any discomfort you may have and reducing any bleeding. However, this drug does not remove plaque or prevent cavities, so daily flossing, brushing and regular dental checkups are still necessary.
While your teeth are getting back to normal, check out some vitamins that help with your eye health.