Gingivitis is a term that you often hear discussed in dental offices and on commercials for toothpaste and mouthwash all the time. But what exactly is it?
Gingivitis is often painless in its early stages, when the symptoms are also mild, so many people don’t know if they have gingivitis or understand exactly what the dangers of gingivitis are. And many others wonder if there is a cure for gingivitis.
Strictly speaking, gingivitis is a non-destructive disease that is entirely preventable, so it doesn’t have a cure in the same way that other kinds of diseases have cures. However, even if your dentist does diagnose you with gingivitis, it is treatable and reversible, so with good dental hygiene and tips and advice from your Abbotsford dentist at Clayburn Dental, you can restore a perfect smile in just a few short weeks.
What Is Gingivitis and What Causes Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an oral disease characterized by inflammation of the gums around your teeth. The term “gingivitis” is usually reserved for the mild form of the disease; however, if left untreated, it can worsen and progress to the more serious form known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more severe and damaging version of gingivitis—it can cause tissue destruction of your gums, the bones near your teeth to weaken, and possibly even tooth loss.
The most common cause of gingivitis is a build-up of plaque. Plaque is the soft, white bacteria that accumulates around your teeth from food and drinks, usually as a result of over-consuming sugary products or not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly enough.
Because gingivitis is difficult to detect in its early stages and it can sometimes even occur to patients who visit their dentist often and brush their teeth daily, many people wrongly assume they are immune to gingivitis. But the fact is that gingivitis affects millions of Canadians, and it is one of the most common oral diseases affecting dental patients, so anybody can be inflicted with gingivitis.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
The best and easiest way to get rid of gingivitis is to establish a routine for your dental hygiene and stick with it. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily are the hallmarks of any strong dental hygiene routine.
However, if you’re still worried about lingering plaque, consider using mouthwash after brushing and flossing for an extra clean. Look for mouthwash that is either alcohol-free or contains fluoride, or ideally both, for maximum efficacy.
Of course, also visit your dentist approximately every six months for a deep cleaning and the opportunity for early professional detection of gingivitis before it becomes a serious concern.
How to Treat Gingivitis
If you or your dentist notice any early signs of gingivitis, such as inflamed gums or lots of plaque in your mouth, make sure you fully commit to your dental hygiene routine and don’t take any cheat days. In most cases, brushing and flossing is the best treatment as it can reverse early gingivitis within a couple of weeks.
However, if plaque isn’t adequately removed from between your teeth, it can harden into a substance called tartar, which causes further inflammation, infection and can lead to periodontitis. Be sure to visit your dentist to be advised on next steps and best practices, as tartar is difficult to remove with brushing and flossing alone.
Visit Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford to Cure Your Gingivitis
At Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford, our dentists and dental hygienists can help diagnose and treat gingivitis and periodontitis so you can have a healthy and beautiful smile. Call us today at 604-852-8487 or request an appointment online.