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What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that can lead to tooth loss if not treated. The good news is that gingivitis is preventable and reversible with proper oral care. In this article, we will discuss the causes of gingivitis and how to prevent it from occurring.

Andrea Seraina Author
Andrea Seraina
Dental Content Specialist
01.12.20225 min. reading time

How does it develop?

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease that is characterized by inflammation of the gums. It is often caused by bacteria and plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar, which can further irritate the gums. Gingivitis is usually reversible with good oral hygiene, but if left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.

You can detect gingivitis if you have redness, swelling and bleeding gums. People with gingivitis may also experience bad breath or a metallic taste in their mouth. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help to prevent gingivitis. If you think you may have gum inflammation, see your dental hygienist for an evaluation.

How can you prevent gingivitis from happening?

The best way to prevent gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene and healthy gums. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. An electric toothbrush or an interdental cleaner can further help to clean your mouth properly. It's also important to see your dental hygienist for regular dental checkups and dental cleanings. If you have gum disease, your dental hygienist can provide you with a customized treatment plan to help reverse the damage and promote healing at an early stage. In some cases, this may involve more frequent cleanings, the use of special mouthwashes or antibiotics, or even surgery. Taking these steps can help protect your teeth and gums from gingivitis and other serious dental problems.

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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.

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Gingivitis is a serious problem that can lead to other health issues down the road. Following the tips in this blog post can help prevent gum disease from happening to you. Be sure to keep an eye out for common symptoms of gingivitis so that you can catch it early and get treatment if necessary. Some home remedies are worth trying if you already have gum disease. And of course, our products can also help prevent gingivitis!

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