What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis occurs due to bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth and it is a mild and early form of gum disease which is not necessarily symptomatic. This disease might make the gums turn swollen or red and visiting a dentist from time to time for regular checkups is highly recommended.
Gingivitis causes the gums to bleed easily and you should never ignore the symptoms as when left untreated it might lead to periodontitis which is more severe gum disease.
Before we get down to the symptoms and treatment of gingivitis, let’s take a look at the causes.
What Causes Gingivitis:?
While most bacteria in the mouth tend to be safe and normal, there are however harmful forms of bacteria present in the mouth as well that give rise to plaque and bacteria buildup. This is a sticky and almost invisible film that gets created on the teeth.
Bad oral hygiene and cleaning regimes lead bacteria to form where teeth meet gums resulting in an infection that’s known as gingivitis. Gradually this plaque becomes harder and it becomes quite difficult to get rid of. Gingivitis worsens even further as more and more bacteria get trapped.
If you have diabetes or have crooked teeth that are difficult to clean, you are at risk of developing gingivitis. Besides, hormonal changes related to oral health can also lead to gingivitis in women during pregnancy. Those who have a family history of gum disease are also prone to gingivitis.
If you smoke or chew tobacco, you must quit it as soon as possible as it has been observed that smokers and tobacco users are also susceptible to the disease.
Saliva plays an important role in good oral health and when the flow of saliva reduces In the mouth due to the usage of over-the-counter medicines and other prescriptions to treat epilepsy and cancer therapies.
What are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?
As discussed earlier, gingivitis isn’t always symptomatic; however, as the disease develops you’d experience a few symptoms of gingivitis which are listed below.
- Mouth odor that doesn’t go away even after brushing your teeth.
- Swollen, red, or bleeding gums.
- Pain while chewing food.
- Sensitivity to cold and hot foods.
Gingivitis Risk Factors
It is quite important to understand gingivitis risk factors. Gingivitis often develops because of bad oral habits and if you brush and floss your teeth daily, you can curb the risk to a big extent. Below are mentioned a few more tips for you.
- Diabetes management.
- Stop using tobacco and smoking.
- Stay away from foods and drinks with excessive sugar.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups.
Gardner Smiles: Gingivitis Treatment
If the gingivitis symptoms mentioned above seem familiar, you should immediately see your dentist and have your oral health checked. Your dentist will perform a few tests to find out if there are any signs of bleeding. Gums pulling away from your teeth is another sign of gingivitis.
The dentist might also need a few x-rays to be sure if the disease has developed inside your mouth. In case a periodontist’s involvement is needed, you will be directed to one by your dentist.
Depending on your condition you will be treated by a dentist or periodontist. Harmful bacteria and plaque will be removed. Scaling and root planning will be performed to prevent sticky bacteria from developing on the teeth. Your dentist will advise you about the gingivitis risk factors and the treatment you need.
You will also be recommended a healthy oral regime apart from the necessary medication for some time.
Does Gingivitis Go Away on Its Own?
No, it doesn’t! Gingivitis requires medical attention which includes treatment and medication prescribed by a certified dentist. If you feel that you have gingivitis symptoms, you should see your dentist for treatment of gingivitis. Any delays here will just complicate things for you.
Is Gingivitis Caused by Stress?
Stress can cause more damage to your health than you think and that includes your oral health as well. Stress weakens your immune system, which allows bacteria to attack your gums. Gradually, this might lead to gingivitis and hence stress management is quite important to ensure optimal oral health.
What Food Causes Gingivitis?
To avoid gingivitis from developing, you must take healthy food and drinks that are not high in sugar. It doesn’t mean that you must be on a zero-sugar diet; however, it must be limited.
Besides, acidic foods and drinks must be avoided as well because they damage the enamel of your teeth and cause cavity development.
Does using Mouthwash Help Gingivitis?
Dentists recommend using mouthwashes to prevent gingivitis to a big extent. That’s because they have antimicrobial ingredients and essential oils. You must not use mouthwashes containing alcohol because alcohol would rather do more harm. It is a good idea to use a mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
For more information about gingivitis symptoms and treatment, feel free to drop Gardner Smiles a line.