Good oral hygiene helps protect your gums from many diseases such as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a harmless disease at first sight, but it can have important consequences on your teeth. Have you ever had to deal with gingivitis? Find out more about this disease.
Here's a guide to help you understand how to maintain your oral health before and after gingivitis.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an oral hygiene-related disease that is characterized by inflammation of the gums. The word "gingivitis" is a technical term used to mean "inflamed gums". It is caused by an accumulation of bacteria from dental plaque. It is a disease that can very quickly evolve to attack and damage the periodontium that holds the tooth together. It is then said that gingivitis has turned into periodontitis. These are two diseases that many people tend to confuse. Nevertheless, it is important to know that periodontitis is a very serious disease that can lead to loosening and loss of teeth.
Gingivitis can manifest itself in different ways. It can cause bleeding and swelling of the gums that can be painful. It can also lead to bad breath. As soon as you start to feel your teeth moving, it means that the gingivitis has already turned into periodontitis. It is then necessary to quickly go to the dentist to receive the appropriate dental care.
Contrary to what you might think, gingivitis is far from rare and does not only affect a few people. It is a very common disease, but one that has not yet been properly addressed like tooth decay. Nevertheless, more and more actions are carried out in order to better inform about periodontal diseases.
The causes of gingivitis
Many factors can increase the risk of gingivitis. It is therefore important to pay special attention to your teeth and gum line and to seek advice from your dentist or hygienist.
Here are the different causes of gingivitis:
- Smoking: This is one of the main risk factors for gum disease and can reduce the chances of successful treatment. Research shows that smokers are seven times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
- Poor dental hygiene: Not brushing or flossing is one of the easily preventable causes of gingivitis.
Incomplete plaque removal: You may leave plaque under the gum line, even if you remove all the plaque from your teeth.
- Stress: This is another of the many causes of gingivitis. Constant stress can weaken your immune system and limit your ability to fight infection, including gum disease.
- Hormonal changes: puberty, pregnancy, menopause and menstruation cause increased sensitivity and inflammation of the gums.
- Poor nutrition: deprives the body of important nutrients and reduces its ability to fight infection, including gum disease.
- Medications: Many conditions can affect oral health. Tell your dentist or hygienist if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.
- Chronic diseases: Diabetes, cancer and HIV affect the body's ability to fight infection, including gum disease. Tell your dentist and hygienist if you have any conditions.
How to fight gingivitis effectively?
The best remedy against gingivitis or periodontal disease is prevention. Even before the disease catches you, and even after you've already treated it, you should maintain good hygiene habits.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
To avoid damaging the oral cavity and your gums, avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes. Instead, choose ones that provide gentle, yet effective cleaning. Toothbrushes with soft bristles are perfect for effective brushing that provides a gentle massage to your gums. You can also opt for an electric toothbrush.
Brush your teeth more effectively
Poor tooth brushing is the number one cause of gingivitis. It is important to know that bacterial plaque develops thanks to the debris from the food you eat. These lead to the appearance of tartar responsible for gingivitis. To avoid this, you need to brush your teeth longer and with the right motion.
Most people don't really pay attention to how they brush. It's something you do automatically without taking the time to control the motion and the parts you touch. It's important to be gentle, especially if you have fragile gums, and to spend the time you need to on each part.
Eat less sugar
Sugar promotes the proliferation of batteries and therefore the appearance of gum disease. That's why it's highly recommended to brush your teeth after eating sugary foods in the evening. Without this, you will considerably increase your risk of gingivitis. Similarly, it is important to brush your tongue well as it can become a real battery nest. Mouthwash is also an important gesture to clean the entire oral cavity.
Use dental floss
Flossing removes food residues stuck between the teeth. If you don't want your gingivitis to progress, it is essential to always dislodge them. However, you must be careful with flossing to avoid damaging your gums. Interdental brushes are also solutions to get rid of its residues.
Scaling is probably one of the most effective treatments for gingivitis. Once the dentist has removed the plaque, all you have to do is follow the rules of oral hygiene to avoid having to deal with gingivitis again. Contacting the doctor should be your first instinct if you notice that the disease is becoming persistent. It is important to prevent it from becoming periodontitis.
You can use the Y-Brush brand dental floss. It is a dental floss that allows you to clean effectively and gently between each tooth and is very easy to use thanks to its handle. The floss is easily inserted in the interstices and interdental spaces, and does not damage the gums. It allows an effective care as well as a good oral hygiene.
We hope this guide has helped you understand what gingivitis is and its main causes, but also how you can effectively fight gingivitis.