Maintaining your oral health is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and well-being. But even if you don't have any dental cavities, your mouth might not be in great shape. Whether you don't floss as often as you should or your lifestyle and age have attributed to dental issues, you might be at risk for developing gingivitis. In today's post, we'll talk more about this disease and why it occurs, as well as some typical symptoms and treatments.

What is Gingivitis and What Causes It?

Gingivitis is a common type of gum disease (or periodontal disease). It's characterized by gum irritation, inflammation, redness, or even bleeding. There are a few different factors that make a patient more likely to develop this type of gum disease, including tobacco and drug use, hormonal changes, genetics, diet, and age. However, it can often be at least partially attributed to poor oral hygiene. It mostly occurs when bacterial plaque (a naturally occurring biofilm) builds up on the teeth and surrounding gum line. This can subsequently irritate the gums and lead to the development of this condition. It's important to note that gingivitis can eventually lead to more serious types of gum disease and even tooth loss -- which means it's essential to recognize and treat this condition as soon as possible

Signs You Might Have This Gum Disease

It's possible you might have this type of periodontal disease if you experience the following symptoms:

 Red or purple gums

 Tender, sore, or puffy gums

 Bleeding gums (particularly when brushing or flossing)

 Receding or soft gums

 Tooth sensitivity or pain

 Persistent bad breath

 Changes in bite or loose teeth

If you do notice any of these signs, you will want to take steps to treat your condition and talk to a dental professional to ensure this disease has not advanced to a more severe stage.

How to Properly Treat Gingivitis

If you receive confirmation you have gingivitis or are at risk for developing this disease, you will want to take action right away. Here are a number of steps you will need to take:

1. See Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dental check-ups are essential for prevention of gum disease and other more serious oral health issues. You should see your dentist at least once every six months, though you may need to be seen more frequently if you have a higher risk of developing periodontitis.

2. Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits: You should use an electric toothbrush to care for your teeth in both the morning and the evening (though after every meal is often preferable) for at least two minutes at a time. You will also want to floss at least once per day; since plaque starts to turn into tartar within 24 to 72 hours, regular brushing and flossing can help alleviate this problem.

3. Use a Tartar Removing Dental Gel: A plaque removal dental gel can help to treat this condition or even prevent it before it fully develops. A fluoride free toothpaste that's formulated to address gum disease can safely remove plaque, prevent tartar formation, freshen your breath, and even strengthen your tooth enamel. Be sure to use this type of dental gel regularly for best results.

4. Switch Up Your Brush: If your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head is worn out (which tends to happen after three months or so), it's time to replace it. Worn-down bristles are less effective at removing plaque. On the flip side, you will also want to switch to a different brush if the bristles are too hard. Should you notice your gums consistently bleed while brushing, consider switching to a brush with softer bristles or upgrading to an electric toothbrush if you don't currently use one. 

Although this periodontal disease is quite prevalent, it needs to be taken seriously. Fortunately, early treatment can be both simple and incredibly effective. For more information on how our LIVFRESH dental gel can treat your gum disease, please contact us today.