Gingivitis is a gum disease commonly found among people. Anyone can suffer from gingivitis and most of the time people are not even aware that they are suffering from it. This article is everything-under-one-roof for people suffering from gingivitis. What will this article bring to your knowledge? This article covers the following points:
- What is gingivitis?
- Signs and symptoms of gingivitis?
- Types of gingivitis
- Causes of gingivitis
- Treatment for gingivitis
- Prognosis for gingivitis
- How to cure gingivitis?
- Home Remedies for gingivitis
- Gingivitis Prevention
- When to see a Doctor?
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a gum disease consisting of inflammation of gum tissues caused by the accumulation of bacteria around the teeth. The severity of Gingivitis might vary. It is basically caused by poor oral hygiene which results in the production of bacteria resulting in plaque. Plaque consists of small particles of food, mucus, and bacteria. Letting this bacteria remain for more than 2 days will cause tartar to form. If you notice at least 2 of the following signs then you have got gingivitis:
- Red or red-purple gums instead of pink
- Easy bleeding around gums and teeth
- Mouth sores
- Swollen gums
Apart from the physical impact that gingivitis may have on your gums, it also causes bad breath if left untreated. If it remains untreated, it will progress into periodontitis and tooth loss. When it changes into a more critical condition called periodontal gum disease, the bacteria then attack the bone that supports teeth and soft tissues which may result in loss of a tooth.
All in all, it can be easily treated by taking medical help or using home remedies.
Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis:
Symptoms itself are signs that indicate that whether or not you are a victim of Gingivitis. How can you find out that you are suffering from Gingivitis? Following are some of the very common Gingivitis symptoms that indicate Gingivitis:
- Redness of gums
- Swelling of gums
- Puffiness of gums
Other symptoms may consist of:
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding and tender gums (particularly when flossing and brushing)
Due to these, symptoms the gums start receding. If you have at least 3 of the common symptoms then yes! You are suffering from Gingivitis and need to take some preventative measures either by going to a doctor or by using home remedies. The initial symptoms are sometimes really mild which is why many people don’t even know that they are suffering from Gingivitis. Regular dental checkups may help.
Types of Gingivitis:
Regardless of the type, Gingivitis is primarily caused by bacterial plaque. The first type is painless but lasts for a long duration whereas the second type is very painful and lasts for a short period of time. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the fact that which gingivitis you fall into. According to the severity of condition, Gingivitis is of 2 types.
1. Chronic Gingivitis
Chronic Gingivitis is the most common type of Gingivitis known. It has a close connection with poor oral hygiene. Most of the time, people are not aware that they are suffering from chronic Gingivitis and do not take any medical help until and unless the symptoms become really prominent.
The signs and symptoms are:
- mild swelling
- slight bleeding
- Red, swollen gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Gums that bleed easily on brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath
- Gums may be tender to touch
People usually don’t take much notice of these signs and symptoms. If taken notice of at the early stage it can be easily treated by simple things like flossing, cleaning, and proper brushing.
2. Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG)
Another type of Gingivitis is called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). It is also known as trench mouth or Vincent’s stomatitis. It is a disease found rarely in people.
The signs and symptoms of ANUG are:
- Bleeding gums, even on the slightest touch
- Lymph node swelling of the head, neck or jaw
- Mouth sores
- Halitosis or bad breath
- Pain during biting or swallowing
- Generalized weakness
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Infected, painful gums
- Redness and swelling of gums
- A whitish or grey film (pseudo membrane) over the gums
Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis has more chances of inflicting people with either severe malnutrition or weak immune system. This form of Gingivitis is acuter. It results in fever, painful gums, and bad breath along with other symptoms listed.
Causes of Gingivitis:
The major cause of Gingivitis is plaque formation on teeth due to poor oral hygiene. Wondering how Plaque increases the risk of gingivitis? Plaque is a microscopic film of bacteria that lives by feeding on the food particles that might get stuck between your teeth. The bacteria will then multiply in the moist and warm environment that your mouth provides it. These bacteria produce toxins that will not only attack your gums but also irritate them. As a result, these toxins cause inflammation of gums. It has to be treated early to prevent it from becoming worse.
Want to be sure of what is causing gingivitis in your case? Here is a list of some of the elements that might trigger Gingivitis:
- Crooked teeth
- Plaque deposition
- Excessive smoking
- Use of tobacco
- Certain medications like birth control pills, phenytoin which is used to control seizures and heavy metals such as bismuth and lead.
- Uncontrolled Diabetes
- Poor diet causing severe malnutrition with vitamin deficiencies.
- Dry mouth
- Ill-fitting dental restorations
- Genetic predisposition
- Comprised immunity
- Broken fillings, dentures, bridges, misaligned teeth, and braces facilitate plaque deposition which is later difficult to remove.
- Systematic diseases and conditions such as thyroid disorders
- HIV infection
- Substance abuse
- Hormonal fluctuations during menopause or pregnancy.
- Gum injury because of extremely vigorous flossing or brushing.
- Immuno-compromised conditions, as in AIDS or cancer.
- Allergic reactions.
- Blood dyscrasias.
Treatment and cure for Gingivitis:
The question is how to treat gingivitis? Gingivitis can be easily dealt with by taking medicines or utilizing home remedies. To begin with, home remedies are preferable. If you notice alleviation of gingivitis symptoms using home remedies, then it means home remedies are reliable. In case, things don’t get better for you at all, then it is preferable to consult a doctor.
Gingivitis cure lies in maintaining good oral habits. Some of the ways a dentist might use to treat gingivitis are:
Scaling and Root Planing:
This professional cleaning will remove any traces of tartar and plaque that are there on your teeth above and below the gum line. In order to restore the gingival tissue back to health, Root planning is performed to make the root surfaces of the teeth smooth. Professional tooth cleaning is recommended twice a year.
A dentist might fix bridges, misaligned teeth, poorly fitting crowns or any other dental restoration that might be the reason for gum irritation. They also make it difficult to remove plaque while cleaning at home. If dental restoration is causing gingivitis, then a dentist will definitely fix these problems.
Proper tooth cleaning at home:
After professional tooth cleaning, maintaining proper oral hygiene at home is imperative. The dentist will demonstrate how to floss and brush properly every day.
An antiseptic mouthwash, gels or oral antibiotics is recommended to prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
Regular professional cleaning and checkups are highly recommended.
Prognosis for gingivitis:
Before you look for a treatment, you might want to know some of the predictions made about signs and symptoms of gingivitis. Some of the prognosis for gingivitis is:
- Upon removal of tartar and plaque from the teeth, people might feel discomfort.
- After professional cleaning and good oral care at home, the tenderness and bleeding of gum reduces in a week or 2.
- Gum swelling can be reduced by antibacterial or warm salt water rinses. Anti-inflammatory medicines are also of great help.
- The outlook of healthy gums is firm and pink. Maintaining oral hygiene all your life is a must, otherwise the gum disease might come back.
Home Remedies for gingivitis:
Want to know how to get rid of Gingivitis quickly? Apart from maintaining good oral hygiene and health habits, using some simple and natural Gingivitis home remedies can be really effective for preventing as well as treating Gingivitis. According to the severity of your condition, home remedies can treat you in a day or a week’s time. Here are some really helpful remedies:
Salt is really beneficial for gingivitis but how? It consists of antibacterial and antiseptic qualities which help in treating inflamed and swollen gums. It also prevents growth of bacteria in the mouth and prevents infections.
- Take a glass of lukewarm water.
- Add half teaspoon of salt.
- Mix well and use it rinse your mouth once every morning and evening.
- Repeat till the swelling reduces.
- Combine mustard oil and half teaspoon salt to make a paste.
- Massage the gums using this paste for about 2 minutes.
- Then Gargle using warm water
- Do this twice or thrice a day for few days.
Turmeric consists of curcumin which contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Curcumin is high effective for reducing inflammation, swelling, pain and plaque in the gums. It also helps in preventing any infection and bacterial activity.
- Combine half teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and mustard oil.
- Massage your gums and rub your teeth with the paste twice a day.
- Combine turmeric powder and vitamin E oil or a little water to form a gum pack.
- Put it on your gums and let it stay for about 10 minutes
- Rinse with warm water.
- Repeat this once a day for few weeks.
3. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a well-known herbal practice that prevents bacteria formation, strengthens gums and reduces plaque. It eventually helps to keep your oral health good
- Take a tablespoon of either coconut oil or sesame oil and put it in your mouth.
- Keep swishing it in your mouth for up to 15 minutes.
- Spit it and rinse your mouth using warm water.
- Repeat this every morning right before you brush your teeth till a month.
Note: do not swallow or gargle the oil.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a very popular natural remedy. What it does is neutralize the acid present in mouth reducing chances of gum disease and tooth decay. It also acts as a natural antiseptic preventing infection.
- Combine ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and warm water.
- Put this paste on gums.
- Let it stay for about 2 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Repeat this twice or thrice a week.
5. Lemon Juice
Lemon helps to treat gum disease because it contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities along with vitamin C which combats infection.
- Take a glass of warm water and add some lemon juice.
- After brushing your teeth use this solution as a mouthwash.
- Repeating this 2times a day will relax receding and bleeding gums.
- Combine one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and little salt to make a paste.
- Put this paste on your gums.
- Let is stay for up to 5 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Do this 4 to 5 times every day till it gets better.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera with its antifungal and antibacterial qualities helps to prevent deposition of bacteria that results in plaque causing gingivitis. It also alleviates pain from inflamed gums and teeth.
- Cut the aloe Vera leaf open.
- Scoop out its pulp.
- Massage your gums with the pulp.
- Let it stay for up to 10 minutes
- Gargle using cold water
- Do this 3 to 4 times a day till it gets better.
7. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves are really effective for gingivitis due to their ant-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities. The cherry on the top is that guava leaves contain guaijaverin which is an antiplaque agent.
- Wash guava leaves properly.
- Chew the leaves and spit them out.
- Repeat this 2times a day for few weeks.
- Grind tender guava leave.
- Brush your teeth with it using a toothbrush.
- Use the ground guava leaves with water to rinse your mouth.
Clove can also be used to treat gingivitis because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and antiseptic qualities.
- Chewing 2 to 3 cloves thrice a day helps cure gingivitis.
- Massage your gums with clove oil.
- Let it stay for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Repeat twice a day.
Note: usage of clove or clove oil is not applicable for small children, pregnant women and people blood thinning medicines.
Pepper contains antiseptic and antibacterial qualities which helps in the alleviation of gingivitis symptoms especially inflammation and bad breath.
- Take few crushed peppermint leaves.
- Immerse these leaves in water for half an hour.
- Rinse your mouth with this solution twice or thrice a day every day.
- Make a cup of peppermint tea.
- Take this tea between meals.
- You can also use it as a mouthwash.
10. Tea Tree Oil
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities of tea tree oil are good for curing chronic gingivitis. It brings relief to inflamed and irritated gums quickly.
You can also use tea tree oil toothpaste. If it is not available in the market, just add few drops in the toothpaste you use daily and brush your teeth.
Note: swallowing tea tree oil can cause irritation in the stomach like diarrhea.
The best way to prevent gingivitis is by maintaining good oral hygiene. Here are some of the ways you can prevent gingivitis:
- Brush your teeth at least twice every day.
- Floss at least once every day.
- Get your teeth cleaned professionally after every 6 months.
- People especially smoker who has more tendency of being inflicted with gingivitis should floss and brush after each meal and also before going to bed.
- Usage of anti-tartar and antiplaque toothpastes are helpful
- Using antibacterial mouthwashes regularly after flossing is recommended by dental hygienist.
- Don’t eat food containing refined carbohydrates that stick to teeth.
- Avoid malnutrition by taking in a balanced diet.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Avoid all kinds of alcohols and drugs.
When to see a doctor?
When certain symptoms show up, seeing a doctor becomes necessary. Why it is so important is really simple. Gingivitis can lead to other serious health problems like periodontitis or tooth loss. Here are some of the signs that tell you that you should see a doctor:
- persistent bad breath or bad taste
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- gums that bleed easily
- red, swollen, tender gums
- any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- any change in the fit of partial dentures
- permanent teeth that are loose or separating
Regular dental checkups are highly recommended for getting rid of gingivitis because at times gum diseases like gingivitis show no prominent signs. On the whole, it is a readily treatable disease which can be cured in a number of ways. All you have to do is remain alert.