- Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
- What is the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?
- What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
- What causes gingivitis?
- What are the risk factors and complications of gingivitis?
- How is gingivitis diagnosed and treated?
- Can gingivitis be prevented?
- How to practice good oral hygiene
- Some more information on gum disease
Can gingivitis be prevented?
It is possible for gingivitis to be reversed, as well as the progression of the infection slowed down and stopped in the majority of cases where there are practices of good oral hygiene present. In order for plaque to be controlled, you will need to have a professional cleaning conducted by your dentist bi-annually, along with flossing and brushing your teeth daily. Brushing will aid in eliminating any plaque that has accumulated on the surface of your teeth, flossing will remove the plaque and additional food particles found between your teeth or under your gum line.
There are also antibacterial mouthwashes available that are able to reduce the build-up of bacteria that result in plaque and cause gum disease.
There are a number of other lifestyle and health changes that are able to decrease the risk, progression and severity of gum disease. These include:
- Avoiding tobacco products – Tobacco found in cigarettes, hubbly bubbly (hookah) and a number of other products, is a major risk factor when gum disease is concerned. If you are a smoker, your chances of developing gum disease are seven times higher than those of a non-smoker. Smoking can also lower your chances of recovery when being treated for gum disease. When smoking products that contain nicotine, the nicotine will come into direct contact with your gums and can impact the functioning of the blood vessels in your mouth and eventually result in your gums becoming less vascular, meaning that there is far less blood supply than there should be. This compromises their healing potential and can result in the gums beginning to recede allowing for bacteria to target the bone that supports and surrounds your teeth.
- Reducing stress – Stress can make it more difficult for your immune system to defend itself against infection and heal the body from the condition. When the body is under attack from infection, it will produce antibodies (immune cells) to protect it against the infection. When you are stressed this delicate balance is affected and the existing inflammation from the infection can progress, allowing for bacteria to grow and thrive.
- Maintaining a nutritional and healthy diet – Sticking to a well-balanced eating plan that provides you with proper nutrition will aid in boosting your immune system to help it to fight off the infection. It is advised that you eat foods that have antioxidant properties, this includes foods containing vitamin C (broccoli, citrus fruits and potatoes) and vitamin E (nuts, leafy greens, vegetable oils) as these will assist the body in repairing tissue damage.
- Avoiding teeth gritting, grinding and clenching – These kinds of actions may increase the amount of tissue damage that occurs during gum disease as excess force is placed on the teeth’s supporting tissues. These sorts of habits will not cause the gum disease, but they can lead to the infection progressing as the applied pressure has been seen to speed up the destruction of the bone and periodontal ligaments.