Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and quite common. According to the Cleveland Clinic, almost half of all adults over the age of 30 have some kind of gum disease. So, it’s important that you keep an eye out for symptoms of gingivitis, such as red gums, swollen and tender gums, and gums that bleed easily. Fortunately, treating and preventing gum disease is quite easy, centering around some basic oral hygiene techniques that we hope you’re already using regularly. Scroll down to learn how to treat gingivitis.
What Causes Gingivitis?
If you want to know how to treat gingivitis, you need to start by asking a different question: What causes gingivitis? Typically, the answer is quite simple: poor oral hygiene. If you avoid brushing or flossing your teeth or if you don’t brush and floss properly, plaque will begin to amass on your teeth. It will then harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. If plaque and tartar are not promptly removed, they will irritate and inflame the gums. This is the beginning of gum disease, a.k.a. gingivitis.
How to Treat Gingivitis
Now that you know what causes gingivitis, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that treating gingivitis primarily involves (1) brushing your teeth at least twice a day, (2) flossing your teeth at least once a day, and (3) visiting your dentist about every six months.
At your dental appointment, existing plaque and tartar will be removed, and with good oral hygiene, you can prevent it from accumulating again. It may be helpful for you to review proper brushing and flossing techniques with your dental hygienist as well. They can remind you of important tips like the following:
- Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled brush.
- Replace your toothbrush when the bristles begin to fray.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at a time.
- Brush every outer surface of each tooth (inner, outer, and chewing surfaces).
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and prevent bad breath.
You might also find it worthwhile to review these instructions from the American Dental Association. The page includes a handy video as well.
- Use about 18 inches of floss.
- Guide the floss between your teeth with a gentle rubbing motion. Don’t snap it.
- At the gum line, curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.
- Use a new section of the floss for each space.
For more help, ask your dental hygienist or check out these instructions from the American Dental Association. They provide handy illustrations that can help you learn how to hold the floss properly.
Learning how to treat gingivitis is easy, right? The key is to develop strong brushing and flossing habits and to visit your dentist twice a year for an oral cleaning and examination.
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!