Gingivitis is a mild gum infection that occurs in people of all ages. It usually begins when bacteria from the mouth begins to decay. Left untreated, gingivitis will damage your gums, teeth, and jaw, and can even cause your lips to become chapped.
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene including failure to brush and floss after every meal, or to visit the dentist for cleanings on a regular basis. If you do not brush and floss regularly, plaque bacteria from your mouth can build up. You may not experience any symptoms for a long time. However, if you are experiencing bad breath, sores around your gums and lips, or other types of discomfort, it is important to consult a dental professional immediately.
To prevent gingivitis, you should follow a few simple steps. The easiest way to floss is to simply wrap a piece of floss around two fingers and move the floss back and forth between your upper and lower teeth. Flossing can be a tedious chore without the proper guidance, so it is important to find the right flossing technique for you. For those who struggle with any sort of technique, it is helpful to purchase a mouthwash specifically designed for cleaning the gums.
There are several gingivitis symptoms to look out for. If you notice redness, swelling, or a foul odor coming from your mouth, it may be time to schedule a visit to the dentist. These gingivitis symptoms indicate that the gums have become inflamed and swollen.
If you’re not seeing your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings, chances are that you may develop more serious symptoms of gingivitis.
7 Signs of Gingivitis That Should Be Treated by Your Dentist As Soon As Possible
- Painful and itchy mouth.
- Swollen or bleeding gums.
- Dryness and roughness to the skin around your mouth.
- Soreness over the top of your mouth, or you may feel pain when you open your mouth.
- Small yellow spots on your gums.
- Pain or discomfort while chewing your food.
- Bad taste in your mouth, or an unpleasant odor.
There are a few other symptoms that should never be ignored. For example, if you have swollen glands around your cheeks, or notice that your gums feel tender, you should see your doctor.
If you can’t get to the dentist or doctor right away, there are home remedies that may give you a little temporary relief. Some people have reported temporary relief from apple cider vinegar, honey, Listerine, and some of the better brands of toothpaste.
These home remedies are only intended as a temporary relief until you can visit your dentist. For example, if you’re using apple cider vinegar to treat gingivitis, it might mask some of the symptoms, but not necessarily get rid of them all. Also, this is not a viable long-term solution, as apple cider vinegar may cause your gingivitis to get worse if used for too long because it gives off acids into your mouth. Instead of killing the bacteria, it can make them stronger, and the acid from ACV can also wear down your tooth enamel.
If you want to get to the root of the problem, you should see a dentist. With that said, the best thing you can do to help your gingivitis in addition to brushing and flossing regularly is to drink plenty of water. Water naturally helps to lubricate the lining of the mouth, which can reduce the bleeding that occurs with gingivitis.
In addition, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should also eat a healthy diet. Foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals will help to keep your immune system strong, which can help to fight off the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Since most people experience their first symptoms of gingivitis during their middle years, it’s important that you start controlling your oral hygiene as early as possible.
While gingivitis is almost always treatable, it can often be avoided. Keeping up your oral hygiene is essential to prevent the onset of gingivitis. Be sure to schedule your dental cleanings at Mohip Dental & Associates at least once a year, but preferably every 6 months.