Gingivitis is the name for a host of problems with regard to your gums and consequently dental health.
Generally speaking gingivitis refers to the inflammation or irritation of the gums. Although by itself this may not sound like a troublesome condition, gingivitis can lead to many problems.
Gingivitis occurs when there is an accumulation of bacteria, plaque or tartar in the areas between the teeth and the gums.
Toxins can form and bacteria can cause infection, which can lead to periodontitis which is the widening of the gap between the teeth and gums and consequently recession of gums.
Gingivitis, by itself while not a serious condition, if left untreated is what can cause the problems.
A symptom that gingivitis may be a problem can be indicated by bleeding gums when you brush; which, contrary to popular belief, is not normal in healthy teeth. Usually this is an indication that bacteria is building up in between your gums and teeth and that oral hygiene is not as good as it could be.
If there is some bleeding while brushing, then it is indicated that one should visit a dentist and improve oral hygiene. Taking the following steps will ensure dental hygiene and prevent gingivitis and therefore more serious dental conditions:
- Brush twice a day. Yes this is very basic, but it bears repetition for those of us who skip the routine thinking it won’t matter. Also it pays to remember that it is more important to brush at night; this is more important than brushing in the morning, because it is at night when the saliva flow in the mouth is much reduced that the bacteria are able to do the most damage.
- Brush using a soft brush, to make sure that you does not lacerate your gums or harm the enamel. And make sure you clean your teeth thoroughly cleaning all the surfaces that there are, with a brushing motion outward from the gums. Brush for two minutes.
- Floss. This is an often underestimated activity, which people tend to do only when food particles are uncomfortably stuck in between teeth that they want to remove. You should floss regularly even otherwise, this will dislodge and remove food particles that got left behind which will cause bacterial accumulation and plaque build up.
- The visit to the dentist every six months will make sure that your teeth are in good health and the dentist can do a clean up as required.
- If one has diabetes (which typically causes a dry mouth) one has to take extra care
- Pregnant women are also more prone to developing pregnancy gingivitis, since soft and bleeding gums are common during this time. So extra care must be taken during this period.
There are other things you can do to ensure good dental health: give up smoking. Studies have shown that smokers are at most risk from gingivitis. It has also been suggested that chewing sugarless gum is actually healthy for teeth.
Not only does it help to dislodge food particles stuck to the teeth, it can also break down bacteria build up before it can create plaque.