The most important aspect of how to treat gingivitis is to seek professional care as soon as possible. While the Internet may have plenty of articles related to home remedies, only a dental practitioner can remove the tartar buildup on your gums that is causing inflammation. At Top Health Dental, we are committed to helping our patients manage gum disease and preserve their natural teeth and gums.
Understanding Gum Disease
Gum disease can deteriorate quite fast and your best chances at recovery are when you detect and intervene quickly. With gingivitis this can be difficult, because it may present without symptoms. However, if you are keeping up with regular visits to your dentist and professional cleaning, you have a much better chance at managing and detecting it.
Interestingly, gum disease is associated with a number of medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Not only is it in the interests of your oral hygiene to get rid of gingivitis and prevent it from progressing, it’s important for your overall health and wellbeing.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gingivitis?
Swollen, inflamed or bleeding gums
As mentioned earlier, it is possible and common to have gum disease and not realise it. Some patients find that they are spitting a bit of blood when they brush, or that their gums are swollen and bleed when brushing or flossing.
One of the earliest symptoms of gum disease is an infection at the gum line. The gums might be red or swollen instead of their natural, healthy pink colour.
Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
Having gum disease means your mouth contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria release toxins into your mouth, causing a bad smell and taste.
Receding gums and tooth sensitivity
Have you noticed that your teeth look longer or bigger than they used to? It’s not necessarily that your teeth are getting bigger, but more likely that your gums are receding and are pulling away from your teeth.
This might start off gradually but over time it can lead to the development of pockets between your teeth and gums and these can harbour bacteria and debris.
Receding gums can also expose your tooth roots, because the gums no longer offer a protective covering over the roots. This can result in sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and sugar.
Teeth that are loose or move position
When the gums and soft tissue are damaged or destroyed by gum disease, the structures that hold them in position are also damaged. This compromises their anchorage and can result in teeth loosening, shifting and ultimately falling out.
When you have lost teeth, you also lose bone mass in your jaw. This process can be exacerbated by unmanaged gum disease, which can also speed up the rate of destruction to your soft tissue.
The longer you leave gum disease untreated, the more difficult it will become to treat. You place yourself at greater risk of tooth loss if your gum disease reaches advanced stages.
How To Get Rid Of Gingivitis
The first step in treating gingivitis is a professional deep cleaning. When you have a deep clean, your dental practitioner will use special instruments to clean your teeth below the gum line. Scaling will remove tartar build up below and above the gum line – which is often the cause of the infection.
In some cases planing to smooth out the tooth roots is required. This is done to help your tooth roots reattached to your teeth. Depending on the severity of your infection you may need to make a few visits to your dental practitioner.
Medication And Antibiotics
Sometimes medication is also prescribed to help fight the infection from the inside. You may be given antibiotic tablets or topical gels to apply, to manage the bacteria in your mouth. Some dentists also prescribe antibacterial mouthwash to manage bacteria levels in the mouth.
Gum Graft Surgery
It is also possible to treat receding gums and tooth sensitivity with gum graft surgery. This is when your dentist takes tissue from another part of your mouth and uses it to cover exposed tooth roots.
Flap surgery may also be performed, if your dentist needs to remove tartar that is deep under your gum. Your gums will be lifted for the tartar removal and then stitched back into position so they fit tightly around your teeth, minimising the chances of bacteria accumulating in open pockets.
You have your best chance of managing and treating gum disease by visiting your dentist every six months. Any early signs of gum disease can be detected at these appointments, and your dentist can advise you on the best course of treatment to prevent it from progressing.
Good gum health starts with twice-daily brushing and flossing every day.
If you need to know how to treat gingivitis, it’s time to speak to a professional. Please contact us for help as soon as possible: (02) 8776 3232.