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Oral Health Buzz

Working Toward a Gingivitis Cure

Anne Maria Wynter

Gingivitis is a common oral disease that affects people of all ages. In fact, some experts believe most individuals have some form of gingivitis. Despite how common this disease is, many people don't understand what gingivitis is or how to treat gingivitis when they have it.

Gingivitis is an early, mild stage of gum disease, which is an infection of the gum tissues. People who are affected have a much better chance of working toward reversing gingivitis through proper treatment methods. Keep reading to learn more about gingivitis and how you and your dental professional can detect it and reverse its progress.

Detecting Gingivitis

The first step in fighting gingivitis is recognizing and diagnosing the disease. Some common symptoms include a change in gum color where the gum tissue becomes red, swollen gums, occasional tenderness and gums that bleed after brushing or flossing. These symptoms aren't always present in everyone with gingivitis, however, many people can have the condition for long periods of time without even realizing it.

That's why it's essential to schedule check-ups so your dentist can evaluate your gums on a regular basis and determine whether you're at risk for gingivitis or already have the disease. If you and your dentist don't diagnose and treat your gingivitis, the disease could progress into a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis, which can cause permanent damage to your teeth, tissues and jaw bone.

Professional Treatment

After receiving a diagnosis, your dentist will recommend several steps that can lead to a gingivitis cure and get your gums back to their original, healthy state. The first step involves a thorough professional cleaning that removes tartar and plaque from under the gums and off the surfaces of your teeth.

During the exam your dentist may also check for any structural issues that could prevent you from getting rid of all the plaque and tartar when you brush and floss at home. These issues may include misaligned teeth, bridges, crowns and other existing dental work. If any of these pose a problem, your dentist may suggest certain repairs that can make it easier for you to keep your gums clean and prevent gingivitis from recurring.

Daily Oral Care

While your dental cleaning will clear away the plaque and tartar that cause gingivitis, you will still need to take good care of your teeth and gums at home. Working toward good oral health on a daily basis will help ensure that the gingivitis is completely eliminated and it will lower the chances that gum disease will return. Your oral care routine should involve brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. However, your dentist may give you guidance on your brushing and flossing technique, suggest that you brush and floss more frequently or possible recommend that you use an antiseptic mouthwash.

With the guidance of your dental professional, it's certainly possible to work toward a gingivitis cure. Recognizing the symptoms, scheduling regular check-ups and maintaining good oral health at home can help you eliminate the disease and enjoy good gum health for years to come.

Learn more about gingivitis in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Flickr - Irina Patrascu

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