About 47.2% of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. The good news is that gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and can be cured by practicing good oral hygiene. It’s also important that you schedule routine dental cleanings so we can remove plaque and tartar buildup.
While there’s no “quick fix” for healthy gums, you have the power to form habits that will protect your oral health in the long run.
What Causes Gingivitis?
In order to cure gingivitis, it’s important to understand what causes it in the first place.
Gingivitis (and many other oral health problems) are caused by an invisible film of bacteria called plaque that lives inside the mouth. These bacteria love to feed on the sugary particles left behind on your teeth and gums. In turn, they produce an acid that erodes your enamel and attacks your gums.
When too much bacteria builds up inside your mouth, you’re more likely to have gums that are inflamed and sore. You may have also noticed that your gums bleed while flossing. These are all.
How to Cure Gingivitis
To cure gingivitis, we must remove plaque and tartar buildup so your gums have a chance to recover. For the best results, you’ll want to follow all of our advice below.
IMPORTANT: There is a narrow window of opportunity to reverse gum disease. Once gingivitis progresses into the later stages of gum disease, you won’t be able to reverse the condition. Instead, you’ll only be able to manage some of the symptoms.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush around each tooth. Brushing too hard will wear away your enamel. But you also want to make sure that you’re brushing for at least 2 minutes at a time. That way, you’re cleaning every nook and cranny inside your mouth.
We recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day so plaque doesn’t have the opportunity to build up in between meals. You should especially brush your teeth before going to bed. Otherwise, you’re giving dental plaque the opportunity to attack your teeth and gums while you’re asleep.
Floss Your Teeth Once a Day
Plaque loves to hide in between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing around each individual tooth will remove this dental plaque so you don’t develop cavities in between teeth. It’ll also help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria irritate and attack your gums unless you brush and floss consistently. We recommend that you floss your teeth once a day.
Use a Fluoride Mouth Rinse
Gingivitis often goes hand-in-hand with other oral health issues related to plaque buildup, such as cavities. But fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel so they’re more resistant to acid attacks from plaque. This will help improve your overall oral health and is a good habit to maintain for the rest of your life. Make sure you choose a mouth rinse that’s labeled as antibacterial, antiseptic, or antigingivitis.
Don’t Skip Dental Appointments
Only a dental professional can remove tartar on your teeth and gums. During your teeth cleaning appointment, we use a tool called a scaler to gently scrape away plaque and tartar. We also examine the inside of your mouth and take X-rays to see what’s happening beneath the surface.
In general, you should schedule a teeth cleaning and oral examination at least every 6 months. Our family dentist is ready to help you on your journey to better oral health and wellbeing.
Avoid Sugary Foods and Beverages
The bacteria inside your mouth love to eat sugar. If you’re trying to, we highly recommend limiting sugary foods and beverages. This includes pop, sports drinks, energy drinks, popsicles, dried fruits, and caramel. Basically you should avoid anything that will coat your teeth and gums in sugar.
After eating or drinking something sugary, you may feel like your teeth are rough or “fuzzy.” This is plaque and tartar buildup.
Call Kalamazoo Smiles
Gum disease is reversible when caught early. That’s why you should call our office as soon as you notice that your gums are swollen, sore, or bleeding. To learn more, check out our blog post on the importance of preventive dentistry.
Our family dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, would be more than happy to help you restore your oral health. To request an appointment with Dr. Katherine Bandos, call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700.