A great smile showcases two things: A sparkly row of teeth and pink, healthy gums. However, if your gums are swollen, red in colour and painful, it could be a sign of Gingivitis- the most common gum disease. By definition, Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums and a symptom of the early stages of gum disease.
As far as Gingivitis is concerned, there is good and bad news. The good news is that it is easily preventable and treatable. The bad news? Without treatment, Gingivitis can progress to Periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.
Here's how Gingivitis occurs:
The main cause of Gingivitis is Plaque- the soft, sticky, colourless film of oral bacteria that envelops your teeth. But plaque does not occur without reason. Improper brushing habits leave behind food particles in the crevices of your mouth and teeth. It is an ideal ecosystem for the bacteria in your mouth. They are quick to act on the leftover starchy and sugary food particles, and it forms plaque in due course of time.
Here is the thing about plaque: it does not need any fancy dental tools or devices to remove it. All you need is a good toothbrush and dental floss. However, if plaque is not removed every day, it will accumulate and harden into Tartar, which is worse than plaque. Tartar harbours more bacteria, is hard to clean, and starts irritating your gums or Gingiva. This irritation leads to swollen and bleeding gums or Gingivitis.
Several telltale signs indicate the occurrence of Gingivitis:
If you notice any of the above signs, you should consult your dentist immediately. Early treatment and good oral habits can cure Gingivitis and restore your healthy gums.
It is important to note that age is not a factor for Gingivitis. It can affect both adults and children alike. However, some factors can make you more vulnerable to this gum disease, such as:
In its initial stages, Gingivitis is easily manageable if you follow this oral hygiene protocol:
Using dental techniques like scaling and root planing, your dentist will remove the plaque if they detect any signs of Gingivitis. They will also prescribe medication like nutritional supplements and mouthwash to curb plaque growth and promote healing of the gums.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Why tolerate painful gums and undergo treatment when you can easily prevent Gingivitis and retain those pink, healthy gums? There are only three things you need to do to prevent your gums from Gingivitis:
The standard mantra for good oral hygiene practices is to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and floss once. You should at least rinse your mouth after eating sugary dishes and hard candies or use a mouthwash to flush out hidden food particles.
Routine checkups allow your dentist to check for plaque build-up and evaluate your oral health. A professional dental cleaning will also add another layer of protection to your teeth and gums, and only your dentist can do that for you.
Did you know that foods rich in Vitamin C can improve the health of your gums? Similarly, fibre-rich vegetables and water-rich fruits can flush out the bacteria from your mouth. Finally, limit your intake of starchy and sugar-rich foods and say no to fizzy drinks that are good for nothing.
At 4 Squares Dentistry, Chennai, prevention is our top priority. That's why we offer flexible timings to fix your routine dental appointments at your convenience. We operate from our dental clinic in Gowrivakkam and Medavakkam, offering preventive and restorative treatment for Gingivitis and other dental issues. Schedule your appointment today with our dentists in Medavakkam to ensure that healthy smile!