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Treating Gum Disease If You Have Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that causes swelling where the gums meet the teeth. It is a serious condition that should be treated immediately once it has been identified to prevent worsening of the disease as well as possible tooth loss.
Causes and symptoms of gingivitis
Gingivitis can occur when plaque is not properly removed and starts to build up on teeth. Over time, the sticky film can harden into a substance known as tartar, which can only be removed during a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Common symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding or swollen gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, and sensitive teeth. When experiencing these symptoms, it is important to see a dental professional immediately. Gingivitis is a condition that must be treated to prevent further decay to the teeth and prevent risk of infection to the gums. When left unaddressed, it can also lead to other health issues.
Fortunately, the treatment of gingivitis can reverse symptoms, though it cannot restore damage to the bone that has already occurred. The typical treatment plan includes cleaning, dental restoration, and ongoing care.
The professional cleaning removes any tartar and plaque that has built up on the teeth. This is accomplished by scaling and root planing. Scaling removes tartar and bacteria, while root planing smooths root surfaces and removes bacterial products causing inflammation. To perform these tasks, the professional may use a laser or ultrasonic device.
If restoration is advised, any issues that make caring for the teeth more difficult can be corrected. This includes straightening teeth and replacing crowns and other dental fixtures.
Prevention of future episodes
Gingivitis is preventable. There are many factors that contribute to the condition, and knowing the causes can help stop future episodes of gum disease. These preventative measures and habits to avoid can maintain good gum health:
- Schedule a regular dental checkup once a year
- Always brush teeth at least two times a day
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
- Use an electric toothbrush with soft bristles for a better cleaning
- Control sugar intake
- Replace toothbrushes often
- Floss once a day
Using mouthwash can reduce bacteria and keep breath smelling good. A natural mouthwash that can be made at home is a saltwater rinse. Because salt is a natural disinfectant, it can help heal gums that have become inflamed. It may also reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
Gingivitis is a preventable gum disease. By following routine care of the teeth and avoiding the overuse of sugar and tobacco products, the teeth and gums are more likely to stay healthy. It is important to ensure plaque does not have a chance to build up and form tartar. If a person does experience bleeding or swollen gums, they should make an appointment with a dental professional promptly. Gingivitis that is left untreated can lead to bigger issues, including loss of teeth and health issues in other parts of the body.
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