Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, mostly caused by a bacterial infection. When left untreated, it can turn out to become a more serious infection also known as periodontitis. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the major causes of tooth loss in adults, according to Indian Dental Association. Gum infection may cause severe pain and swelling, including swelling of the cheeks.
Types of Gum Infections
Gingivitis is caused usually by an overgrowth of dental plaque. Additionally, along with improper dental hygiene, there can be many contributing factors, such as:
- Certain medications, such as phenytoin, cyclosporine, calcium channel blockers, and oral or injectable birth control can lead to gingivitis or rather make it worse, as they can lead to an overgrowth of gum tissue and make the plaque accumulated in the teeth hard to remove.
- Severe deficiencies of vitamin C and calcium.
- Hormonal changes, particularly in women, including during pregnancy and menopause.
- Leukemia or blood cancer.
- Heavy metals like nickel and copper, which can be found in some jewellery.
- Exposure to bismuth, which can be found in some cosmetic brands.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Your gums are attached to the teeth at a lower point, which forms a small space called a sulcus. Food and plaque are accumulated in this particular space and causes gum infection which is also known as gingivitis. Now how do we define plaque? Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria, which constantly forms on the surface of your teeth.
As the plaque on our tooth advances, it gradually hardens and becomes tartar. You can develop a gum infection when plaque extends below the gum line. When treated at initial stages, it is less painful and cures faster, than at later stages. When left unchecked, gingivitis can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. This can cause:
- Injury to the soft tissues and bones supporting the teeth.
- Tooth to become loose, weak and unstable.
- Complete loss of the tooth as and when infection progresses.
How is Gingivitis Treated?
Practice good oral hygiene to treat gingivitis. Smoking should be strictly avoided. Quitting smoking may be very difficult, but a doctor can help you with this, by providing you anti-nicotine-chewing gums. However, there are other treatments of gingivitis. Let us look at them:
What to Know About Gum Infections?
A gum infection is actually an infection of the mouth, which is very harmful for our mouth and the surrounding tissues, because it causes damage and inflammation in the gums and jaw. Gum infections commonly arise from poor dental hygiene practised repeatedly over time, as this can allow bacteria to make place between the gums and teeth, where it can grow freely. However, several other factors play a key role in gum infections and gum disease.
When it comes to your oral or dental health, it’s not always about how straight or crooked your teeth is or how your smile looks. Don’t forget about your gums. They are the ones who hold your tooth together.
Even if your tooth is cavity-free, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to gum disease, and can never get them. Since it’s initially painless, most people absolutely have no idea that anything can be wrong with their gums, till the situation aggravates. Gum disease is preventable with a little care and consciousness about dental health.
Most people get tooth and other problems because they take their tooth for granted. As a result plaque buildup happens leads to cavities and finally periodontitis.
Gum disease is easily preventable. Here are a few ways you can keep your gums healthy.
Floss every day for maintaining your tooth and oral health. This helps to get rid of the plaque and food particles that’s beyond the reach of your toothbrush. It doesn’t matter when you floss. Doing it in the whole day at least once or twice is what really matters.
2. Get regular dental cleanings
Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see visit them on a regular basis, or frequent intervals. That way diseases can be treated before they appear and become too serious. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove plaque and tartar. It can also get rid of any food particles, you missed when brushing or flossing. If you have gingivitis, following proper dental hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help reverse it, quickly, without causing much pain and complication.
3. Quit smoking
4. Brush twice a day
Smoking is detrimental to gum health. It is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Smoking also weakens your immune system, and makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Plus, smoking makes it difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged. Smoking is an addiction, which is difficult to leave, but with practice it can happen. Quitting smoking has long term benefits, for maintenance of overall health.
Brush your teeth after every meal, if possible. If not you should at least brush twice. This helps remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Scrub your tongue, since it retains food particles and bacteria.
5. Try an electric toothbrush today.
Consider buying a battery-powered or electric toothbrush. These can help reduce diseases such as gingivitis and plaque considerable, more than manual brushing, by hand. Change toothbrushes every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to wear away.
6. Use fluoride toothpaste
Use a fluoride toothpaste suggested by dentist, for best results. There are lot of toothpaste brands available in the market, which claims to reduce gingivitis and cavities, but actually fail to do so. So, it is best to opt for toothpaste recommended by doctor.
7. Use a therapeutic mouthwash
Therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, cavities to some extent, clean tongue, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed with which tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits. A rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing.
It doesn’t matter whether how you brush, floss, or rinse. Just doing it right using the right products, is important.
Let Us Look at Top 5 Home Remedies to Fight Gum Disease
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains several antiseptic and antibiotic properties and can help get rid of bacteria and plaque. Simply mix one drop of tea tree oil with your regular toothpaste, and brush your tooth properly at least twice. Make sure not to add too much of tea tree oil, as it can lead to a burning sensation. Also do not swallow it accidently.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Oil pulling is an ancient method of cleansing the teeth and gums by pouring oil and water in the mouth and swishing with it. Coconut oil, is particularly very effective in oil pulling. Spit the oil and water out after sometime. Next drink a glass full of water, and brush your teeth.
Oil pulling is quite safe to practice and is best if done first thing in the morning, just after you wake up. Be careful not to swallow it, as the bacteria pulled from the tissue in your mouth, can infect the body.
Honey is a natural antiseptic and also known to contain natural anti-bacterial properties that help eliminate bacteria causing gum infection. Simply applying raw honey over the gums after brushing or washing mouth can have beneficial effects for people suffering from periodontal disease and gingivitis. It can also be done in other time of the day.
Turmeric Powder contains curcumin and has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. When mixed with milk, it cures cough and cold as well as stomach ailments. When utilized as a toothpaste, turmeric can help in eliminating bacteria. Creating a paste with turmeric and water and brushing with it two times a day is a great approach to keeping gum disease under control.
Nutrition supply to the body is vital for your overall health, including your oral health. Particularly calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D allows calcium to be absorbed by bones and teeth.
Rubbing salt on gums can be very effective and can help reduce inflammation of the gums and tooth. Although salt is very effective in helping to treat gum disease, salt cannot itself cure gum disease.
Salt has been effective in healing negative effects and diseases since ancient times. Salt water is very effective in healing body aches and joint pains. For that reason, doctors suggest visit the sea side to keep away certain diseases and healing some.
There are specific nutrients that are needed for maintaining healthy teeth and gums:
- Consume protein from whole food sources like pastured meats, fish, liver and eggs
- Eat vitamin rich fat soluble foods containing beneficial fats from food sources like fatty fish, liver, and coconuts
- Include plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Avoid processed foods that contain sugar, saturated fat, excess salt, and refined flour, which can be harmful to teeth and gums.
As you start implementing these home remedies, you can expect to see fairly rapid improvements in milder cases of gum disease. However, these are not a permanent solutions to your gum disease and tooth problems. You should still visit a dentist at regular intervals and get yourself checked.
Our mouth has numerous functions. We speak with the help of our mouths. We eat food and liquid with the help of our mouths. Saliva in the mouth aids in digestion. Teeth chew the food for us, the tongue supports us in speaking etc. Therefore, preserving mouth health is very essential and for this regular visits to dentist and maintaining proper oral health is very essential.
Gums hold our teeth and are softer as compared to teeth. Preserving gum health also ensures the longevity of our tooth till old age.