If your dentist tells you that you have gingivitis, there’s no need to panic. Gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, can actually be reversed. It’s worth mentioning, though, that if you don’t treat gingivitis in a timely manner, it could progress into periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease in Bloomington. At this point, your teeth could become loose or even fall out! To prevent this, it’s crucial that you reverse or prevent gingivitis entirely. Here are five easy tips to make that happen.
1. Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Dental professionals use special instruments to clear your mouth of gingivitis-causing plaque and tartar from areas of your mouth that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach. While most people should see their dentist twice a year, patients with a history of gum disease should attend cleanings more often, as in every three or four months.
2. Brush and Floss Often
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily. These habits prevent plaque from building up and contributing to infections like gingivitis. The ADA also recommends using a toothbrush that has soft bristles and the ADA Seal of Approval, which means it has been deemed effective at fighting plaque.
3. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash
Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to kill bacteria in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Look for a mouthwash that’s specifically designed to combat gingivitis. In most cases, rinsing with it for 30 seconds twice a day (after brushing and flossing) is more than enough to keep your mouth healthy and clean.
4. Quit Smoking
Whether you smoke it or chew it, tobacco use can more than double your risk of developing gum disease. It also weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off gum infections. If you need help kicking this dangerous habit to the curb, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for resources.
5. Cut Down on Sugar
When you eat or drink something sugary, bacteria in your mouth feast on that sugar. They then create an acidic waste product. Not only does this acid wear down tooth enamel, causing cavities, but it can also irritate your gums and lead to gingivitis in Bloomington. Try to consume these items in moderation. If you can’t brush your teeth afterward, at least swish water around in your mouth to clear away some of the leftover sugar.
Severe gum disease can lead to all kinds of unpleasant outcomes, like chronic bad breath, sore gums, and even tooth loss. That’s why it’s important that you reverse gum disease while it’s still in the early stage. Fortunately, if you follow all of the tips in this post, that should be fairly easy!
About the Author
Dr. Martin Barco earned his dental doctorate from the University of North Carolina dental school. He is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Indiana Dental Association, the Southern Indiana Dental Association, and the Spear Dental Study Club in Bloomington, IN. He believes in the power of preventive care when it comes to oral health, and he’s more than happy to help you reverse gingivitis symptoms. To learn more, you can contact Barco Family Dentistry at (812) 332-8290.