Risk factors of gingivitis
You face a higher risk for gingivitis if you have poor oral hygiene, plaque buildup, smoke, and diabetes. These factors can increase the risk of developing gum disease and should be avoided if possible.
What are some common symptoms of gingivitis that you should be aware of?
Many people don't realize that they have gum disease, because the early signs can be pretty subtle. Some common symptoms include a dry mouth, red, swollen, or tender gums; gums that bleed easily; receding gums; and bad breath. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to see a dental hygienist immediately, because gingivitis is reversible if caught early enough. However, if it's left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis, which is much more serious and can eventually lead to tooth loss. So if you think you might have gingivitis, don't wait to get it checked out - the sooner you seek treatment, the better!
If you already have gingivitis, what treatments are available?
If you have gingivitis, the first step is to see a dental hygienist or oral health care professional. They will thoroughly clean your teeth and perform a deep cleaning below the gum line to remove any buildup of plaque and tartar. They may also recommend changes to your at-home oral care routine, such as using a softer Toothbrush or switching to a Toothpaste that contains fluoride. In some cases, they may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection. If your gum disease is more severe, they may recommend more aggressive treatments, such as scaling and root planing (a deep professional cleaning) or surgery. Your dental hygienist may also refer you to a periodontist, a gum disease specialist.
Are there any home remedies for gingivitis?
One of the most common questions is whether there are any home remedies for gingivitis that can help to improve oral health. While there is no substitute for good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, there are a few things that you can do at home to help reduce the symptoms of gingivitis.
For example, try gargling with salt water or using an antibacterial mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine. Or you can gargle with a glass of water and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Gargling with sage or chamomile tea also relieves pain and is often found to be pleasant.
If you are still seeing symptoms after trying these home remedies, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dental hygienist to get professional treatment.