Gingivitis refers to the swelling, inflammation, and redness of the gums. An estimated 64.7 million American adults have some form of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe, and if your initial gingivitis is not taken seriously, it can lead to periodontitis (a serious gum disease that can result in tooth loss). The good news? Gingivitis is one of the most preventable dental diseases that dentists see on a daily basis! Here are three ways that you can prevent gingivitis and keep your gums healthy on the daily:
Brush twice a day and floss once a day
The most common cause of gingivitis is improper brushing and flossing, so make sure your dental care routine is top-notch and consistent. Start with buying a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to prevent any tooth decay and plaque build-up. Experts recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes—once in the morning and another at night. Brushing three times a day is acceptable, but be sure to wait at least 30 minutes to 1 hour after each meal so that you do not damage your teeth’s enamel. Brushing only cleans about 2/3 of your teeth, so flossing is a crucial step when it comes to cleaning your teeth and keeping your gums healthy. When it comes to flossing, floss at least once a day in order to prevent any plaque from destroying your gums and teeth.
Regular dental visits
Not only is a dental visit important in preventing cavities, but your dentist will be able to quickly identify any signs of gingivitis and provide the necessary steps that can lead to swift treatment. Your dentist will also be able to clean any hard-to-reach places which will overall help in preventing any future gum disease. Most dentists recommend a dental visit once every six months, but people with high-risk factors for periodontal disease may need to go more often.
Use an electric toothbrush with soft bristles
Using toothbrushes with hard bristles or brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums, including cases of enamel wear, and even massive issues related to tooth sensitivity. One of the most effective tools in keeping your gums healthy is an electric toothbrush. Most electric toothbrushes are designed to gently clean the surface of your teeth and they do all the work for you when it comes to keeping your teeth shining. According to consumerreports.org, electric toothbrushes reduced dental plaque 21 percent more and gingivitis 11 percent more after three months of use than manual toothbrushes.
There are many home remedies and other steps that can be taken in order to reduce your risk of gingivitis—from incorporating more calcium-rich foods in your diet to using mouthwash daily. Symptoms of gingivitis include severe tooth pain, bleeding gums, bad breath, or swollen gums, so if you’re feeling any discomfort in your teeth or gums, then contact your dentist right away.