What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a very common problem classified by irritation, redness, and swelling of your gums. Because gingivitis can be very mild, It is quite possible that you don’t even realize that you have it. But it is still critical that you take the problem seriously. Gingivitis can result in a much more significant problem of gum infection, known as periodontitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can also eventually cause tooth loss.
The most typical cause of gingivitis is poor oral health. Good dental health habits, including daily cleaning, regular flossing, and regular checkups at the dentist will help reduce gingivitis. Natural supplements have also shown to reduce gingivitis and improve overall dental health. Later in the article I will list some proven natural dental health supplements as well as lifestyle changes that can quickly reduce and even eliminate gingivitis quickly. However, the fastest and most effective way to rid yourself of gingivitis is to upgrade your toothbrush. Toothbrush technology has come a long way, and it is rapidly changing the way we brush, floss, and care for our mouths. This is touched on later in the article as well. You can also read more about improving your dental health with technology at Toothbrush Talk.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Healthy gums are pale pink. You may have gingivitis if your gums are a dusky red color or if they are puffy and bleed easily. You can have gingivitis without even realizing it since gingivitis is rarely painful. The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis can include:
- Swollen, soft, puffy, or tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily after brushing and/or flossing
- Inflammation or pinkness on floss or your brush
- Change in color of gums from the healthy pale pink to dusky red
- Bad breath
Most dentists recommend frequent examinations to check for gingivitis, as well as to look for cavities and other dental conditions before they cause pain or possibly lead to more serious problems. Should you discover any signs of gingivitis, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you seek attention, the better your likelihood of reversing the damage and stopping its progression to much more serious problems such as periodontal disease.
Causes of Gingivitis
The most likely cause of gingivitis is poor dental care. Too infrequent or improper brushing and flossing leads to the builup of plaque. Plaque is an invisible and sticky film that is composed largely of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food react with bacteria already in your mouth, plaque forms on your teeth. Flossing your teeth daily is the most effective way to remove plaque from your teeth and prevent further build up. Daily removal is required since plaque re-forms rapidly, often within 24 hours.
Plaque that is not removed from your teeth forms tarter, usually after just a day or two. Tartar makes plaque harder to eliminate and makes a defensive shield for bacteria. You generally can’t get rid of tartar by cleaning and flossing. You will need a skilled dental cleanup to remove it. The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they worsen the gingiva, the part of your gum at the bottom of the teeth near and below the gumline. In time, your gums become distended and bleed.
So can you get rid of gingivitis? Well, there are several ways to treat your gingivitis. You can aid your recovery by brushing your teeth regularly, rinsing with warm water and salt, and gently massaging your gums. In addition, you can talk to your doctor about medications to treat gingivitis; however, there is a better way to get rid of gingivits. And it is not as difficult as you would think.
How Long Does it Take to Cure Gingivitis?
If your gingivitis has gotten serious enough, it will likely take longer than ten days for it to go away. Depending on the severity, you might require a deep cleaning or even surgery. Very serious cases of gingivitis require bone grafts. We discuss ways to speed up this process later in the article.
Ways to Get Rid of Gingivitis
The key to recovering quickly from gingivitis is catching it early. Knowing the symptoms, going to the dentist quickly, and following your dentist’s orders will all help you recover in a timely manner. The best treatment, however, is prevention. Maintaining good oral hygiene and taking care of your general health will help you avoid gingivitis in the first place. There are also many natural supplements that have been shown to very incredibly effective at preventing gingivitis and promoting overall oral hygiene.
There is a well-founded link between gum disease and Vitamin C deficiency. This link dates back to the 18th century when sailors were known to apply high vitamin C fruits, such as limes, to their gums to avoid bleeding gums while on long sea voyages. It is also worth noting that many studies have shown that people with the lowest dietary intake of Vitamin C are most likely to suffer from poor oral health.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a topically applied natural antibiotic that has shown to reduce bleeding gums and gingivitis. Simply brushing your teeth twice a day with pure tea tree oil, or a toothpaste containing all natural tea tree oil, will help to heal your gums. Tea tree oil will also assist in the prevention of tooth decay.
Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to assist with prevention of gum disease in proper dosages. Lower levels of this antioxidant have already been related to gum disease. An Osaka University study found that after using Coenzyme Q10 toothpaste for three months, study participants significantly reduced their rate and severity of gum disease and gingivitis.
Vitamin D is well known for its bone health boosting effects. But did you know that it is also a very important proponent of healthy teeth as well? Its not far-fetched considering bone and teeth are made up of similar substances. If you fail to get the proper amount of required Vitamin D from either your diet or from sun exposure, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with Vitamin D. This has been proven to reduce the frequency of tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.
Cranberry has the ability to prevent bacteria from adhering to one’s teeth and bacteria is a breeding ground for gingivitis. For cranberry to work it has to be free from added sugar of any kind. Therefore, 100% no sugar added cranberry juice is the only kind that would be effective against gum disease and gingivitis.
Can You Get Rid of Gingivitis Without Going to a Dentist?
While it is highly recommended that you visit your dentist immediately if you feel that you have gingivitis, there are some ways that you can get rid of gingivitis at home. In addition to the natural remedies listed above, the fastest and most effective way to cure gingivitis is regular brushing and flossing. You can step this process up a notch and make it even more effective with the use of an electric toothbrush. Studies have shown electric toothbrushes to be far superior to manual toothbrushes in reducing gingivitis and improving overall dental health.
The main problem with a manual toothbrush is that we don’t brush on every tooth equally or brush long enough. That’s where the power support really comes in handy. A person using a manual toothbrush strokes their teeth at an average rate of 300 strokes per minute. Contrast this with an electric toothbrush that strokes the teeth up to an average of 30,000 times per minute. Considering the fact that it is recommended you brush for 2 to 3 minutes, you are brushing your teeth with less than 1000 strokes during that time with a manual toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will brush your teeth with just under 100,000 strokes in the same amount of time. This makes each brushing session 100 times more effective! Now why wouldn’t you spend the money to upgrade your toothbrush.
Battery operated toothbrushes start at around $5 a piece. Rechargeable models can cost up to $100. But when you factor in the cost of dental exams, fillings, and more expensive dental work such as crowns and eventually even dentures, $100 seems like a drop in the bucket. So do yourself a favor and invest a little money in your teeth. It will surely pay you back in the long run with incredible dental health and a winning smile.