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Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum that occurs due to accumulation of food particles combined with bacterial infection in the mouth. It causes swelling, redness and irritation in the gum and when left untreated the inflammation can progress towards periodontal (gum) diseases. Thus, it’s important to get a dental check up done on noticing even minor complications in the gum.

Complications of Gingivitis

  • As said before, lack of treatment can lead to serious gum diseases which can obviously cause tooth decay.
  • People with periodontitis are at higher risks of lung diseases and heart attacks
  • Women with unhealthy gum or gum diseases can have premature babies and babies with low birth weight

Diagnosis of Gingivitis

Your dentist will look for the symptoms of gingivitis by examining your mouth thoroughly. He will check your gum, teeth, tongues as well as other parts of the mouth for redness, swelling, plaque build up, bleeding etc.

The doctor may use a periodontal probe to measure the depths of pockets around the teeth and also suggest a dental x-ray.

Treatment of Gingivitis    

The treatment of gingivitis involves understanding the habits and causes that had led to the infection. Accordingly your dentist will perform a treatment to prevent its advancement to tooth infection and diseases.

Treatment of gingivitis involves cleaning up the plaque and tartar build up and disinfecting the mouth. Your doctor may suggest some special toothpaste and mouth washes that you need to use regularly to keep your mouth free from bacterial infection.

However, if the gingivitis has advanced to periodontal disease, characterized by deep pockets around the mouth, then the dentist may perform root planning and deep scaling to clean teeth. Surgery may be involved to access the whole surface of the teeth in order to ensure that no traces of plaque are left behind.

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Additionally an antibiotic therapy may also be prescribed by your dentist to cure the disease.

You need to fix successive dental appointments to make sure that your gum and teeth are healthy.

Home Remedies for Gingivitis

Your dentist will let you know the oral hygiene regimen you need to follow at home for improving dental hygiene and dental health. Make sure you practise the following habits:

  • Replace your toothbrush every month
  • Use a soft tooth brush or an electric brush
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss almost daily. Clean your tongue as well
  • Make sure you use the antiseptic mouth wash recommended by your doctor
  • You can also use 3% hydrogen peroxide or salt water to rinse your mouth
  • Get your teeth cleaned at intervals suggested by your dentist
  • Consume green tea and chew cloves to reduces inflammation

Prevention of Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be prevented only if you sincerely take care of your teeth and gum.

  • For this you need to pay visit to your dentist at least twice a year and get a professional cleaning done.
  • Make sure your mouth is always clean and free from odour. Rinse your mouth properly after eating anything, especially sweets.
  • Eat a balanced diet enriched with vitamins (especially vitamin C or ascorbic acid) and minerals. Reduce intake of refined carbohydrates and starchy foods.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Quit smoking and stay away from addictive products like tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, etc.

So why to risk your oral health and succumb to gingivitis? Take the precautions and make yourself naturally immune to dental diseases. Good luck!

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 17, 2015

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