Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease that affects millions of people throughout the world. Just in the United States, three out of four people develop gingivitis to one degree or another. Untreated gingivitis will continue to spread and worsen in severity, developing into another type of gum disease called periodontitis. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent gingivitis from ever becoming a problem and, even if it does develop, these products can help to treat or prevent the condition from growing worse.
Read More: A Holistic Approach to Dental Health
Many people assume electric toothbrushes do a better job than traditional brushes, but research conducted by the American Dental Association revealed that either type performs an efficient job. While this indicates it’s just a matter of preference, individuals who are equipped with hand braces, or those with limited dexterity due to medical conditions, may benefit more from electric toothbrushes. In these instances, the automatically revolving head can reach areas that may otherwise prove more difficult to reach.
If you’re concerned about developing gingivitis, you may want to make sure you’re getting the daily recommended calcium value. When you’re not getting enough calcium, your bones begin to shrink and become very brittle. While most people may know this, they don’t realize this includes their jawbone. As the jawbone is affected, your gum line becomes exposed and you run the risk of contracting infections that can lead to gingivitis. Increasing your calcium intake will reinforce the alveolar bone, which is located in the jaw. This bone is responsible for holding your teeth in position.
A study conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that a daily calcium intake of 800 milligrams can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease.
If your toothbrush has that odd looking rubber spike on the tip of the handle, you’re in luck. That’s a gum stimulator and dentists say it’s better for your teeth and gums than toothpicks. This is because it’s thicker and more pliable. As you use the gum stimulator, it massages your gums and simultaneously cleans the sides of your teeth. To properly use it, place the rubber tip in between two teeth with the point directed upwards (toward the bite surface of the tooth) at an angle of 45 degrees. Move the gum stimulator around in a circular motion for about 10 seconds.
Another excellent nutrient for preventing gum disease is vitamin D. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that revealed higher levels of vitamin D resulted in a 20% drop in the risk of developing gingivitis. While vitamin D may not be solely responsible for healthier gums, it can help. As an anti-inflammatory agent, it can reduce the swelling and bleeding of the gums associated with gingivitis.
A beneficial beverage for your gums is either black or green tea. First of all, drinking more tea means drinking less soda, which contains corrosive compounds that weaken the teeth and infect the gums. Additionally, teas polyphenols, which are antioxidants that keep plaque from attacking your teeth. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth, it can cause inflammation of the gums and allow bacteria to spread.
Supplement your brushing with a proxa brush. These handy devices can be found in most drug stores and look like a very small bottle brush. It’s small enough to slip between your teeth or under your crown or a bridge, so you can clean those otherwise difficult to reach crevices.
A common tool in fighting plaque on teeth and the bacteria that causes gingivitis is mouthwash, but not all brands will do the job. If you’re not investing in a good quality mouthwash, you’re just wasting money and effort. Look for products that contain cetylpyridinium chloride or domiphen bromide as active ingredients. Studies have found that these compounds are best for fighting plaque.
Tons of bacteria and other toxins settle on your tongue and, if left alone, can cause tooth decay and gum disease. While you can use your toothbrush to scrape your tongue, dentists recommend a tongue scraper to ensure you clear away as much bacteria as possible. Scrape from back to front at least 10-15 times and rinse afterwards.
Peroxide and Water
An alternative to mouthwash is a combination of peroxide and water, though you should only use this solution three times per week. Mix a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution with equal parts of water and swish in your mouth for 30 seconds. Be sure to spit it out afterwards. Never swallow.
You can stay healthy and fit, while cleaning your teeth, if you switch to raw vegetables as a snack. Hard and crunchy vegetables will stimulate your gums, as they clean your teeth, so you’re really benefiting in a couple different ways. Additionally, you won’t snack on foods high in refined sugar, if you’re filling up on veggies.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is a healing agent, so it can soothe the gums when gingivitis is already present. It has also been found to be as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing plaque build-up and the development of gingivitis. To use as a mouthwash, make sure you buy a product that contains 100% aloe vera juice. This won’t need to be diluted. Use it as you would use any mouthwash.
While you can use these suggestions to prevent the development of gingivitis and treat mild cases of gum disease, a dentist should be consulted for more serious conditions. Severe gum disease will cause red and tender gums that may bleed during brushing, gums that have shrunken away from the teeth, frequent instances of bad breath, or pus between your teeth and gums. You may also experience tooth loss or a change in your bite. If any of these symptoms occur, you should seek treatment from a dentist as soon as possible. Left untreated, the condition will continue to worsen. Severe and untreated gingivitis may even cause other physical health problems, such as heart disease.
If you do need treatment for gingivitis, Dr. Mana Nejadi of KOP Perio can help. Dr. Nejadi is an energetic and compassionate dental specialist who puts focus on providing excellent care. Dr. Nejadi also offers non-surgical and surgical treatment for periodontitis, gum recession, cosmetic periodontal surgery, crown lengthening, ridge augmentation, bone grafting, and sinus elevation as well as, dental implants to replace missing teeth. To learn more, visit website at www.kopperio.com.