Gingivitis Treatment: All You Need to Know

What Causes Gingivitis

Although gingivitis is a milder form of periodontal disease, it can still present a problem if not treated properly. After all, bacteria will continue tormenting your gums, making them swollen and prone to bleeding. However, gingivitis is manageable with the help of a dentist. So, if you need one, feel free to visit our website and schedule an appointment.

But what causes gingivitis? Well, to put it simply, gingivitis is caused by bacteria. Now, most bacteria are normal and don’t pose any sort of threat. However, certain types of bacteria can contribute to the creation of plaque on your teeth. And if you don’t clean your teeth properly, the bacteria and the plaque it creates can lead to an infection in the area where your gums and your teeth meet. That is what we call gingivitis.

As the condition progresses, plaque will eventually turn to tartar, which is much harder to remove. And, the longer the tartar remains there, the more bacteria it will trap within itself, which will only lead to your gingivitis worsening. The most important thing when treating gingivitis is to act fast. You can only reverse gingivitis if you catch it in the early stages. Once it escalates and becomes worse, you can only manage a small portion of the symptoms that come along with it. So, if you notice any of the symptoms we are about to discuss, be sure to contact a dental professional.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

To treat a condition, you first need to establish what it is. The problem with gingivitis is that it often doesn’t show any symptoms at first. However, as it escalates, you might experience some of the following:

  • Bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away, despite brushing
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Gums that are prone to bleeding, especially when you’re brushing your teeth
  • Enhanced sensitivity to cold and hot beverages and foods
  • Pain and tenderness while chewing

Now, as we’ve mentioned, it’s often hard to recognize gingivitis for what it is. But, there are quite a few diagnostic methods that can help with the entire diagnosis process. So, your dentist can diagnose you by doing the following things:

  • By studying and reviewing your dental and medical history;
  • By examining your mouth, teeth, tongue, and gums for indications of inflammation and plaque;
  • By calculating the pocket depth of the groove located between your teeth and your gums by placing a dental probe next to your tooth underneath your gum line (a depth of more than 4 mm can be an indicator of gingivitis);
  • By doing dental X-rays in order to look for signs of bone loss in areas with deeper pockets;
  • By doing other tests to inspect for underlying medical conditions;
  • By referring you to a periodontist for an additional opinion.

If the case is more cut and dry, your dentist will simply be able to diagnose you by examining your mouth. If your dentist notices signs of infection, such as swelling or redness, bleeding, loose teeth, or gums that seem to be detaching from your teeth, you probably have a case of gingivitis.

How to Treat Gingivitis

You’ve visited your dentist, and you’ve got your diagnosis, but how does the whole treatment process go when it comes to gingivitis? Well, gingivitis treatment is mainly about reversing the symptoms of the disease and preventing any progress that can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Depending on your preferences and needs, your dentist will offer different professional treatments for your gingivitis.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

A professional dental cleaning will get rid of traces of bacteria, plaque, and tartar from your teeth, utilizing a procedure called scaling and root planing. Scaling helps with removing bacterial products from your tooth and gums, while root planing gets rid of the bacterial products that are a result of inflammation. It also smooths root surfaces, which helps against the additional buildup of tartar and bacteria. That, in turn, encourages proper healing.

Dental Restoration

When teeth are misaligned and when bridges and crowns are ill-fitting, your gums can get irritated. That can make plaque harder to remove. If these problems are contributing to your gingivitis, your dentist may suggest dental restorations as a solution.

Continuous Care

A professional dental cleaning will take care of your gingivitis. However, that isn’t possible unless you practice good oral hygiene continuously. But don’t worry — your dentist will give you advice on how to make a good program for at-home oral care, and you’ll also have to do regular checkups and dental cleanings to make sure gingivitis doesn’t return. And, if your at-home oral hygiene is stellar, you should be able to see clear results of improvement in just a few weeks.

Periodontal Maintenance

You’ll also benefit from getting periodontal maintenance. This type of deep cleaning is somewhat similar to a regular dental cleaning. However, periodontal maintenance, as the name implies, is a type of deep cleaning that is usually prescribed as a way to combat gum disease.

At-home Methods for Gingivitis

There is no gingivitis cure that you can cook up at home. However, there are quite a few things you can do at home that can prevent and reverse gingivitis, such as:

  • Brushing your teeth after every meal
  • Using a soft toothbrush and replacing it every 3–4 months
  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Flossing daily
  • Using a fluoride mouth rinse
  • Using an interdental cleaner
  • Getting professional teeth cleanings regularly

How to Prevent Gingivitis

Luckily, gingivitis is preventable, and there are quite a few things you can do to make sure you remain gingivitis-free, such as:

  • Not smoking or using any tobacco products
  • Flossing every day to get rid of bacteria between teeth
  • Limiting your intake of foods and beverages that contain a lot of sugar, which also includes alcohol
  • Seeing a dentist at least annually

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