Gingivitis is a mild, common form of gum disease characterized by inflamed, painful, red gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more severe gum disease and eventually, tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease is easily preventable with good oral hygiene. As such, it is highly beneficial to learn more about the steps you should take to avoid gingivitis.
Caring for your teeth and gums is the single most important thing you can do to avoid developing gum disease. Brush your teeth well with a toothpaste containing fluoride after every meal and in the morning; this process should take at least three minutes to be thorough enough to remove bacteria and food particles. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush all surfaces of the teeth with short, circular strokes.
You may want to consider an electric toothbrush, which can remove plaque more effectively. For best results, floss before you brush so that food particles can be loosened from between your teeth and removed. After brushing, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash that contains ingredients that fight plaque.
In addition to home oral hygiene, you should visit our dentist for professional cleanings every six to twelve months, or more often if you are at high risk for developing gingivitis. Risk factors include advanced age, tobacco use, diabetes, immune conditions like leukemia and HIV, dry mouth, hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause, poor nutrition or substance abuse. Avoid smoking cigarettes and using tobacco, which can cause gum disease.
If you do begin to develop symptoms of gingivitis, see our dentist right away so that you can be treated before complications develop. You may experience soft, puffy gums that are swollen, red and painful; bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth; and unexplained bad breath if gum disease is present.
Treatment for gingivitis involves a process called scaling, in which the teeth and gums are cleaned with dental instruments to remove all plaque and tartar. The dentist will also correct any conditions that contribute to the development of gum disease, such as misaligned crowns, bridges or other dental restorations, and fill any cavities that are present. The hygienist can instruct you on proper brushing and flossing techniques to prevent gingivitis from recurring.
By maintaining good oral hygiene habits and being aware of risk factors that may make you more susceptible to gingivitis, you can prevent gum disease from developing and preserve your teeth and gums into old age. Make sure to schedule an appointment at Parkwood Dental in East Bradenton or West Bradenton. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you are in the clear when it comes to gingivitis. Contact us today to book your dental appointment.