Oral health involves not only your teeth but also keeping your gums healthy! Brushing, flossing, bi-annual cleanings and check-ups can prevent minor issues from becoming more serious. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and the inflammation of the gums is usually caused by bacteria. This commonly occurs because films of bacteria form on the teeth and create plaque. Once plaque forms on the teeth, it creates a small space between the gum and the tooth called a sulcus. After bacteria enters into this small space, it will then harden and become tartar. An infection can occur when the plaque extends below the gum line and can no longer be removed.
Signs of gingivitis can be red or puffy gums and bleeding while brushing. If left unchecked, gingivitis can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. This can not only cause injury to the soft tissue in the gums but can also damage the bone structure that supports the teeth. When the teeth become loose or unstable because of the inflammation, it may mean ultimately losing teeth.
Ways To Prevent Gingivitis
- Cleaning Teeth Properly: The most important thing a patient can do to reduce the risk of gingivitis is to brush their teeth daily and use a fluoride toothpaste. Techniques to deep clean teeth include scaling and flossing. Scaling removes tartar from below the gum line to prevent bacteria from seeping in between the gum and the tooth. Flossing is beneficial because it removes plaque from in between the teeth so it will not travel further to the gum line.
- Medications: Some medications that help to prevent gingivitis include antibiotic mouthwashes or oral antibiotics. An antibiotic mouthwash contains chlorhexidine and is helpful when it comes to disinfecting the mouth and eliminating bacteria. Oral antibiotics can be used to treat problem areas of gum inflammation that are persistent and difficult to manage.
Use prevention methods at home and have dental cleanings and exams on a regular basis. A thorough professional cleaning and check-up followed by good oral hygiene is enough to prevent this problem from occurring.