Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth an gums that causes irritation and redness of the gum tissue. If left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontitis, a serious condition that leads to a loss of jaw bone and teeth. Gingivitis can be treated and reversed by a general dentist, but gingivitis prevention is the best medicine. You can prevent gingivitis by taking the following steps.
Take Care at Home
Brush your teeth at home at least twice a day using an antimicrobial toothpaste to kill germs. Use a mouthwash and floss regularly to make sure you get the spaces in between your teeth. If you hate flossing, try using a small brush designed to clean between your teeth instead. Always brush and floss before bed as sleeping provides the germs in your mouth several uninterrupted hours in which to wreak havoc.
Banish Bad Habits
Some habits are hard to change, but losing certain bad habits can greatly improve your oral health and prevent gingivitis. If you’ve picked up these behaviors, you should try to stop them on your own and get help if you can’t. Habits you should avoid or try to give up include:
• Carrying a lot of stress
• Grinding or clenching your teeth
• Using tobacco products
• Drug or alcohol dependence
See Your Doctor
Gingivitis prevention starts with your family doctor. Systemic diseases and problems such as diabetes, malnutrition and HIV can all cause or worsen gingivitis. Keeping the rest of your body healthy also helps keep your teeth and gums in good condition. Certain medications and pregnancy can also cause gingivitis and other oral health problems, so it’s important to work in tandem with your primary care physician and your local dentist office.
See Your Dentist Now
Visit a local dentist office now rather than waiting until you have a problem. Preventive treatment and regular cleanings are the absolute best ways to avoid gingivitis and the problems it causes. Doing so will keep your gums healthy and allow you to keep seeing a general dentist. If gingivitis is allowed to advance, it may take multiple specialists and expensive dental procedures to try and save teeth or replace missing ones.
Call our Charlotte dental office today to request an appointment and be on your way to a healthier smile!